Lufthansa Cargo and Jettainer have launched a pilot scheme to see what impact lightweight containers have on the carrier’s environmental performance and transport costs.
The trial will compare the weight advantages of containers made of composite materials with the properties of those made with more conventional aluminium.
The new containers are about 15 per cent lighter than the LD-3 airfreight containers made from aluminium, which weigh roughly 80kg.
A total of 1,000 containers from four manufacturers will be trialled on Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo global route networks until autumn 2009.
The tests also aim to show whether the new containers need fewer repairs and whether the time saved from this will affect the overall quantities of containers needed, as well as the safety benefits.
Alexander Plümacher, managing director of Jettainer, said: “International aviation has used conventional aluminium containers for the transport of cargo and baggage for many decades.
“With the introduction of new lightweight containers made of composite materials, the global airline industry can reckon to deliver annual fuel savings in the upper double-digit million range.”