A new concept...
Swiss Cargo, the independent cargo division of Swissair, appoints a project team to study the feasibility of pooling ULDs with partner airlines with the aim of reducing costs and improving efficiencies.
The concept of ULD pooling is launched and developed in a separate company trading as Globepool Ltd. within the SAirGroup (holding company for Swissair) to pool for members of the now defunct Qualiflyer Alliance.
After the demise of Swissair, Globepool, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, is renamed to Unitpool and the founders find financial backing to bring their idea to fruition.
A new business model
Swissport becomes the majority owner of Unitpool boosting the credibility of ULD pooling as a business model.
Air Transat signs ULD management agreement with Unitpool.
Major customer win
Freighter airline AirBridgeCargo outsources the management of its ULD fleet to Unitpool, starting a long-term partnership between both companies.
Swissport sells the majority of its shares in Unitpool to Aviation Services Holdings (ASH), in a management buyout backed by private equity and led by Dr. Ludwig H. Bertsch as chairman of the board.
ULD pool is growing
AirAsia X signs a ULD management agreement with Unitpool.
TUI Travel Plc carriers Thomsonfly, Jetairfly and Tuifly Nordic select Unitpool for the management of their ULD fleets.
Outsourcing becomes more popular
Major European cargo carrier Cargolux awards ULD management agreement to Unitpool.
Unitpool is acquired by Brambles Limited, a supply chain logistics company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and operating in more than 50 countries primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands.
Brambles acquires two well-established global ULD and galley cart repairs specialists: JMI Aerospace (with repair stations in Los Angeles, and across Australia and New Zealand) and Driessen Services (with repair shops in Europe, the USA and South East Asia, respectively).
Brambles launches CHEP Aerospace Solutions integrating Unitpool, JMI Aerospace and Driessen Services in November 2011 to form the world’s largest independent network of pooled ULDs and repair centres.
CHEP Aerospace Solutions acquires the repair shop of ULD manufacturer Nordisk Aviation Products located in Copenhagen, Denmark, and integrates it into its repair network.
CHEP Aerospace Solutions also acquires eps-Aircraft Services, a ULD and galley cart repair service provider based in Frankfurt, Germany.
Air Canada, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Air Pacific award ULD management agreement to CHEP Aerospace Solutions, and Cargolux extends its partnership with CHEP.
Qatar Airways awards ULD and galley equipment maintenance and repair agreement to CHEP.
Envirotainer and CHEP sign a strategic worldwide agreement to serve the active cold chain requirements of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.
XL Airways France awards the management of its ULD fleet to CHEP Aerospace Solutions, while AirBridgeCargo and AirAsia X extend their ULD management partnerships with CHEP.
Significant contract wins and acquisitions
CHEP Aerospace Solutions acquires Airworld Services and Airworld Containers, specialist ULD maintenance and repair companies with facilities at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and East Midlands airports.
Cathay Pacific, Hawaiian Airlines and TAP Portugal award the management of their ULD fleets to CHEP Aerospace Solutions.
Air France Cargo and Singapore Airlines Cargo sign ULD maintenance and repair agreements with CHEP.
Innovation Award winner
CHEP Aerospace Solutions wins the inaugural IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award at the World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Shanghai with CanTrack™, its energy-harvesting tracking solution for ULDs.
Air Transat renews ULD management agreement with CHEP.
LAN Cargo awards the maintenance and repair of its ULDs to CHEP, and several repair stations in CHEP’s network achieve dual FAA and EASA certification.
A new era dawns
EQT Infrastructure, part of leading private equity group EQT, acquires CHEP Aerospace Solutions from Brambles in November 2016.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Fiji Airways and Air Europa extend, while LATAM, Air Austral and CargoLogicAir award ULD management agreements to CHEP Aerospace Solutions.
Singapore Airlines and Envirotainer strengthen their ULD repair partnerships with CHEP.
CHEP Aerospace Solutions rebrands the business as Unilode Aviation Solutions in February 2017.
Benoît Dumont joins Unilode on 1 September 2017 as the company’s new CEO.
Unilode signs ULD management agreements with Saudia, Saudia Cargo and Air Caraïbes Atlantique, expands its global ULD repair network and inaugurates a new repair centre in Singapore.
Pioneering digital transformation
Unilode unveils its plans to accelerate the digital transformation for ULD management solutions by bringing to the market a ULD tracking solution based on a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tag fully embedded into the structure of the ULDs, which is supported by a global interoperable reader infrastructure. Unilode successfully concludes field trials with Cathay Pacific and AirBridgeCargo Airlines.
AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Unilode’s loyal customer since 2004, extends its ULD management agreement with Unilode until mid-2023.
Nepal Airlines awards the management of its ULD fleet to Unilode.
Let's fly digital!
Unilode intensifies its digitalisation programme with the successful completion of its collaboration with leading ULD manufacturers Safran, Nordisk and PalNet, and technology provider OnAsset Intelligence, to enable its customers flying digital with Unilode’s ULDs equipped with last generation Bluetooth digital tags.
Unilode’s digital transformation programme wins the 2019 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award at the 13th IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Singapore.
Korean Air and NokScoot award the management of their respective ULD fleets to Unilode, while AirAsia X, Hawaiian Airlines, and TUI Group airlines extend their partnerships with Unilode.
Unilode strengthens its ULD repair network through the acquisition of the repair centres of AeroNet Services in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports, and the opening of a repair facility in Hong Kong.
Unilode expands its service portfolio with global short- and medium-term ULD leasing solutions.
Creating the world's largest digital ULD fleet
Unilode agrees with major GHAs Swissport, dnata and Menzies Aviation to install Bluetooth readers at all locations where Unilode’s digital solution will be used by customers.
Unilode and OnAsset Intelligence announce Managed Interoperability™, the world’s first global, aviation-compliant Bluetooth roaming network.
Unilode’s loyal customers Air Canada and Cargolux extend their respective ULD management agreements with Unilode. Envirotainer and Unilode broaden their existing partnership to support global Covid-19 vaccine distribution.
Unilode reaches the significant milestone of 40,000 digital ULDs by end 2020, making it the owner of the largest digital ULD fleet in the industry.
Broadening the customer portfolio
Unilode signs MRO agreements with MdG Group and Sonoco ThermoSafe for the repair of their respective products, which play an important part in the safe and efficient transport and handling of pharmaceuticals and other temperature-sensitive products in the aviation supply chain.
Condor awards a five-year ULD management agreement to Unilode, and SAS Cargo and LATAM Cargo extend their ULD management partnerships with Unilode until 2026 and 2028, respectively.
EQT Infrastructure has agreed to sell Unilode Aviation Solutions to Basalt Infrastructure Partners. The transaction is expected to close during Q3 2021.