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Air cargo handling with vacuum grippers

Air cargo handling - moving air cargo between pallets and/or containers


Air cargo is transported around the world in cargo planes that are typically loaded with ULDs (Unit Load Device) or container and cargo pallets. Before the cargo is loaded on to the airplane, it needs to be sorted and loaded into a ULD, a work that also includes moving air cargo between pallets and open type of containers.

After unloading the airplane, the cargo must be unloaded from the ULD to appropriate types of load carriers used for the next transport. This loading, unloading and sorting process is often carried out manually, causing repetitive strain injuries with lower productivity and high sick absence as a result.


Piab has developed and implemented the Vaculex® cargo lift solutions to solve the handling problems within Air Cargo terminals using vacuum systems. The solutions focus on improving worker satisfaction, improving productivity and reducing strain injuries and damage to the cargo to a minimum level.

Vaculex® air cargo handling solutions – various applications:

  • Moving cargo between pallet type of ULDs (PAG, PYB etc) or open type of container ULDs (AKH, AAX)
  • Loading or unloading large container type of ULDs (AMJ, AAX, AAC, AMX, AML, AMJ, AAA, AMD)
  • In addition to specialized air cargo solutions Vaculex also provides solutions for parcel carriers that of course also can be implemented for Air Cargo handling. This includes solutions for loading and unloading containers and trailers as well as solutions for sorting incoming or outgoing parcels.


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