Please note that there are a growing number of container types and variations from these basics. Your freight forwarder can advise you. Payload details are subject to prevailing over-the-road weight limitations applicable in individual countries and states.





Most containers are general purpose, designed to load or unload direct from vessel to truck trailer bed. For special purposes, you may require a particular type. For more information, contact Saratoga.




Shippers can save money and minimize cargo loss by containerizing their air cargo shipments. Airlines encourage the use of containers by providing special tariffs for containerized freight-all-kinds (FAK) shipments on many routes. Air carriers prefer containerized shipments for a number of reasons: Air carriers prefer containerized shipments for a number of reasons:

  • Reduces the number of individual pieces of cargo which must be handled in terminals.
  • Provides for cost-efficient use of cube capacity of aircraft.
  • Permits use of mechanical handling systems and equipment to best advantage.
  • Speeds loading and unloading of aircraft.
  • Minimizes exposure of cargo to weather, theft, pilferage and handling damage while in the custody of the carrier.


Two Basic Categories of Air Cargo Containers

1. Air Cargo Pallets
Designed for use with conveyor systems in terminals and in aircraft, the low-profile flat pallet is equpped with fittings for securing the pallet firmly to the aircraft deck. Cargo is normally secured to the pallet by nets, tightened over cargo by application of tensioned straps. Pallets are often covered with contoured semi-structual covers called “igloos,” “hulahuts,” or “cocoons” to provide protection and keep cargo within safe dimensions for loading in aircraft. Igloos may be attached to the pallet by cargo nets that are placed over the exterior, or the igloo may be permanently attached to the pallet.

Common sizes and capacities of pallets are listed in the table. Dimensions and cubes will vary slightly..


2. Lower Deck Containers – Developed by use in the lower deck cargo spaces of high-capacity aircraft. They are fully structured and completely enclosed. Cargo is loaded into the container which may be equipped with shelves for accommodation of small of irregularly shaped cargo. The container doors, metal or fabric (or a combination), are closed, sealed and locked. Containers are locked directly into the aircraft restraint systems without need for nets or tiedowns.