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A new generation in ULDs

A new generation in ULDs

Over the last 50 years, we have seen a great many changes in the air cargo industry, but particularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In this period, we moved from a welded design, that had set the industry standard for strength and durability for over 25 years, to a new non-welded design. Also, as fuel costs increased, so did focus on weight and fuel savings, as well as environmental footprint, leading to the introduction of a whole new series of lightweight containers. Nordisk also expanded globally. Having dominated the Far Eastern market since the early 1970s, we finally opened our first factory in China in 2005.

From welded to non-welded

Nordisk’s modular welded technology set the industry standard for strength and durability for over 25 years, offering maximum lifetime and resistance to damage. However, in 1999, the popular welded construction made way to a new non-welded model, the Nordisk “Classic” design, which represented a breakthrough in non-welded container design. Non-welding technology meant simpler repairs as welding skills were no longer necessary and standardised extrusions simplified spare-part stock requirements, reducing capital tied up in inventory.

Breaking new ground with composites

A central feature of the Classic design was the introduction of Nordisk Clamp-Edge Technology. By clamping along the whole sheet length and thus distributing pressure, we increased resistance to burst-through damage. This not only meant improved durability, it also added rigidity and opened up for a wide range of super strong, lightweight composite materials, and the introduction of a whole new generation of lightweight ULDs.

A new generation of lightweight ULDs

Increased environmental focus, combined with ever increasing fuel costs, saw a new wave in fuel efficiency programs aimed to improve airlines’ environmental footprints and also their bottom line, in the early 2000’s.

In 2006, we introduced the Nordisk WeightSaver™AKE with a tare weight of 66 kg, our first AKE container using lightweight composite panels. This was followed by the launch of the Nordisk Ultralite® AKE in 2009 (55 kg) which combined super strong aramid technology with innovative design, offering extreme light weight combined with the highest strength-to-weight performance compared to any AKE on the market. In 2010 our Classic design portfolio was replaced by the Lite family brand, which includes Nordisk TwinLite™ AKE (60 kg) and Nordisk AluLite™ AKE (65 kg). Both designs offer durability and versatility at an affordable price and are still going strong today.

Further strengthening our presence in Asia

Nordisk has held a strong position in Asia since the 1970s, and until the early 2000s we dominated this market with a market share of approximately 70%. Although we have had a sales office in Hong Kong since the 1970s, we opened our first actual production plant in the Far East in China, in 2005. Technical Director, Nils-Martin Teien, explains “China was experiencing huge growth and taking its place in the global market and we wanted to be a part of this growth. We opened our first factory with Bridport, our long-term partner, sharing many functions such as quality assurance and control in the beginning. After a few years, both needed more space and Bridport moved to new premises, giving us 2100 square meters more space and endless opportunities.”

The late 1990s and early 2000s, were very much a period of growth and development for Nordisk. By continually adapting to the ever-changing market needs, we proved time and time again that we are a leading player in our field and are in the global air cargo industry for the long haul.

Nordisk WeighSaver

Nordisk Ultralite

Nordisk TwinLite

Nordisk AluLite



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