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 a ULD management agreement with Unitpool that marks the beginning of a long-term loyal partnership.
Major customer wins and global expansion
Unitpool signs ULD pooling agreements with AirBridgeCargo, a growing freighter airline, Neos, an Italian leisure airline, and Eurofly (later called Meridiana and Air Italy).
Unitpool opens its Global Operations Centre in Bangkok with eight employees that will grow to close to 100 staff within the next few years.
Growing customer portfolio
Unitpool goes live with its ULD pooling solutions for AirEuropa, a Spanish leisure carrier, which is still a customer today.
More customers joining the pool
Unitpool enters into ULD pooling agreements with Conviasa and TUI fly Netherlands.
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 a 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.
Unitpool signs ULD pooling contracts with Gulf Air and National Air Cargo.
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).
In November 2011, Brambles announces the launch of CHEP Aerospace Solutions, amalgamating Unitpool, JMI Aerospace and Driessen Services, to form the world’s largest independent provider of outsourced ULD solutions 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 buys eps-Aircraft Services, a ULD and galley cart repair service provider based in Frankfurt, Germany.
Air Canada, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Air Pacific outsource the management of their ULD fleets to CHEP Aerospace Solutions, and Cargolux extends its partnership with CHEP.
Qatar Airways awards a ULD and galley equipment maintenance and repair agreement to CHEP Aerospace Solutions.
Envirotainer and CHEP Aerospace Solutions 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. AirBridgeCargo and AirAsia X extend their respective 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 its ULD management agreement with CHEP Aerospace Solutions.
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
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.
EQT Infrastructure, part of leading private equity group EQT, acquires CHEP Aerospace Solutions from Brambles in November 2016.
In February 2017, CHEP Aerospace Solutions rebrands its business as Unilode Aviation Solutions.
Benoît Dumont joins Unilode on 1 September 2017 as the company’s new CEO, succeeding Dr. Ludwig Bertsch, who joins Unilode’s Board of Directors.
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 three major ground handling organisations, namely Swissport, dnata and Menzies Aviation, to install Bluetooth readers at all locations where Unilode’s digital solution is being 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 the 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. Turkish Cargo partners with Unilode for the global outstation repair of its ULD fleet.
Condor, the Hongyuan Group, MENA Cargo Airlines and GEODIS award ULD management agreements to Unilode, and SAS Cargo and LATAM Cargo extend their ULD management partnerships with Unilode.
Basalt Infrastructure Partners acquires Unilode from EQT Infrastructure.
By the end of the year, Unilode has digitised more than 85,000 ULDs.
New CEO aboard Unilode
Ross Marino is appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective 28 February 2022, succeeding Benoit Dumont, who has stepped down from his CEO position.
Unilode signs a 10-year repair and digitalisation agreement with Skycooler, a specialist in the leasing of temperature-controlled airline containers for catering operations.