The world’s first inflatable AKE container was officially displayed by VRR, a leader in innovative solutions for Unit Load Devices. The reveal was planning during the annual World Cargo Symposium, which was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore the reveal of the Air7 to a larger audience will also be postponed until further notice.
The Air7 is the first ever inflatable solution for Unit Load Devices on the market, and it is ready for certification. VRR is convinced users of the Air7 will see their competitiveness improve significantly.
“Current methods of relocating ULDs are expensive and time consuming,” explains Geert van Riemsdijk, Managing Director of VRR.
“But a container that can be collapsed quickly and easily and then stacked seven high on a lower deck is a game changer for fleet managers. That’s really going to help them cut costs and increase capacity. And then we have not even discussed the cost saving when it comes to storage of the containers”.
The prototype of the inflatable AKE was revealed at last year’s WCS in Singapore. The Air5, as the prototype was called, demonstrated the considerable potential of inflatable ULDs, including their ability to help resolve the global air cargo imbalance on many trade lanes. VRR has been overwhelmed by interest from around the world ever since. It even won the interDESIGN excellence award at in ter a irport Europe 2019.
“We’re now at the stage where we can involve our customers and discuss real-life testing,” says Ben Lakerveld, Sales Manager at VRR.
Just like its prototype, the Air7 is inflated in seconds and automatically takes shape as an AKE container using mere air pressure. Air is released to collapse the container, which takes just two people and less than two minutes. Despite the impressive space saving measures, no concessions have been made to the robustness, strength or safety of the structure.