ULD Storage

A variety of systems are used to store aircraft containers (ULDs) and loose freight (BSS) on pallets in cargo terminals. Siemens offers several solutions for this operation.


ULD storage systems with up to four storage levels are accessed by special air cargo storage and retrieval equipment (ETVs). Depending on the requirements, high-bay warehouses with up to eleven levels (some 140 feet high) can also be provided. Rail-mounted storage and retrieval machines are employed here, since this is the only way to maintain the necessary tolerance levels (CSS stackers).

Such systems are provided with 10-ft, 15-ft, and 20-ft storage locations. Horizontal speeds of 400 ft/min and vertical speeds of 200 ft/min can be achieved; maximum throughput is also crucial to cargo handling. Whether for ULD storage systems or complex systems with up to 3,500 pallet locations, Siemens has the right solution for every storage requirement.

SICARGO ULD-Stacker Crane (16 ft / 20 ft)

The typical function of a stacker crane (SC) is to transfer ULDs between airside and landside as well as to store and retrieve ULDs from a ULD storage rack. Normally the SCs are used in automated multiple-level cargo handling terminals, as these machines can reach a height of up to 40 meters, with high throughput and a high number of storage positions. Storage systems higher than 40 meters can be created using an intermediate platform within the storage steel structure as the support for a second machine.

SICARGO Cargo Hoist (16 ft)

The typical function of a cargo hoist is to serve as a pure ULD transfer system with high throughput in a fully automated operation. The hoist connects various functional groups or zones and moves the ULDs from level to level. The cargo hoist can be designed and installed in a steel or concrete hoisting shaft. The hoisting unit is located in the machine room with its own platform for better protection and ease of maintenance. The design is according to customer requirements, up to 40 m or more. Pallet transfer between the cargo hoist and adjacent powered roller decks can be configured for narrow edge leading (NEL) or wide edge leading (WEL).

SICARGO Cargo Storage System

The cargo storage system (CSS) is used for storing ULDs. Each cargo compartment can be designed for holding one or multiple standard IATA ULDs or pallets. Each compartment is provided with a roller deck on which the ULD moves. In the case of multiple ULDs stored in one compartment, the system ensures that they do not collide. Two types of roller deck that are normally installed in the storage rack are powerless storage roller decks and passage motor driven roller decks.

The powerless storage roller deck is driven by the ETV/stacker friction drive, which moves the ULD in or out of the storage deck. The ULDs are pushed onto or retrieved from the roller conveyor by these devices. Motor-driven roller conveyors are used on both the airside and landside, together with ETVs/stackers.

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