In the construction of airfreight pallets, so-called Unit Load Devices (ULD), a wooden base had previously been regarded as virtually indispensable. Now there is an alternative, and it is made of 100 percent recycled cardboard: it is called squAIR-timber – and what's more, DB Schenker’s airfreight experts have already been using it. The new system results in a weight saving of up to 80 percent, without the shipper having to contend with a loss in robustness. This translates into a weight saving of 125 kilograms per ULD.
In essence, the new solution consists of cardboard beams with a net weight of just 1.2 kilograms per meter – with each meter being capable of supporting a weight of up to five metric tons. One standard wooden beam of comparable dimensions has a net weight of between three and four kilograms. Using the cardboard beams as a base, combined with a special board with a honeycomb structure, users can also produce pallets weighing between four and five kilograms. By comparison, a conventional wooden pallet weighs around 20 kilograms.
The system gains its stability during the manufacturing process – which takes place at a plant in Germany, not far from the airfreight hub Frankfurt: “After cold glue combinations have been worked into several layers of the cardboard fibers, these are laminated under pressure,” according to the manufacturer. This also ensures a high degree of water resistance, resulting in a product that can be used multiple times. Yet another advantage: at the end of their service life, squAIR-timber pallets can simply be disposed of as waste paper.
Lightweight, sustainable and easy to handle: squAIR-timber gives airfreight specialists an innovative solution to work with – DB Schenker is already using the product made from 100 percent recycled cardboard. Photos: squair-timber.com