- a system or means of transporting.
- the action of transporting or the state of being transported.
- a large vehicle, ship, or aircraft for carrying troops or stores.
- (transports) overwhelmingly strong emotion.
This video serves as a very good introduction to Logistics, it sees Logistics as a pipeline. "A pipeline that controls the flow of gods" (at 2:30)
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Europe) says that transportation throughout Europe can be divided into:
- Road transportation
- Rail transportation
- Air transportation and
- Water(sea and river) transportation.
Those transportation categories are predominant and very important for Europe.
I wanted to have a deeper look at air transportation to find out how air airfreight works. I have read an interesting article on "How Airline Freight Works" (http://science.howstuffworks.com/air-freight.htm) and I would like to summarize it in this post:
Today it is possible to transport a lot of things by air: Letters, packages, cars, horses, construction equipment and even, what I think is most impressive: Other airplanes!
This picture shows an
According to this article, air freight can be divided into four main categories:
- Freight in combination with passenger airlines
The article says that almost every passenger flight also carries some freight along with the passengers and their personal baggage.
That is how commercial airlines make up to 10 percent of their revenue due to transporting freight.
To give some example: "The U.S. Postal Service alone leases space on 15,000 of the approximately 25,000 scheduled passenger flights each day."
And also: "a Boeing 747-400 (one of the largest passenger planes) can hold 416 passengers along with 150 m3 of cargo. That's about as much cargo as can fit in two semi-truck trailers."
Mostly, freight is put in special containers shaped so that they fit into the inside of the cargo hold. Sometimes it is also put on pallets, and loose items may be placed in remaining open spaces.
For the 747-400 there is also a "Combi" mode: Some part of the passenger compartment is not used for passengers but to store some freight. That way the plane can carry over 283 m3 of freight and 266 passengers.
But of course, it can hold much more when it does not carry passengers and only cargo, as described in the next category.
- Freight using dedicated cargo planes
Shipping companies use different types of cargo planes, for example Boeing 747. If it is configured as a freighter, Boeing 747-400 can hold about 736 m3 of cargo, which is comparable to five semi trucks. The picture show such a Boeing 747-400F (Freighter).
It can hold 30 pallets of goods on the main level. The pallets are 2.4 m by 3.2 m and up to 3.05-m tall. On the lower level, the plane can again hold five pallets along with 14 specially fitted containers that are up to 1.6-m tall.
The plane opens its nose to be loaded for large or irregularly shaped cargo (as the picture above also shows)
In this video UPS explains, how it uses the Boeing 747:
In the movie it is explained, that UPS uses special cargo containers that have a special shape so that UPS can use every inch of the plane. Each of those cargo containers can hold about two tons of packages.
A lot of freight may be transported. However, for hauling really big cargo, a super transporter is needed, as introduced in the next category.
- Super cargo planes
Super transporters are used solely for moving huge stuff, for example to transport a helicopter, or even a plane.
The Airbus A300-600ST is a good example for a super transporter. It has a cargo area located above the cockpit, so that almost the full length of the plane can be used for the freight. It can transport about 47 tons of cargo.
- The World's Biggest Transporter
Antonov AN-225 is the name of the world’s biggest transporter plane. It can transport of over 250 tons of cargo.
"This plane was originally designed to carry the Russian version of the space shuttle". The shuttle was not used and plans for using it have been postponed. Years later it has been restored and the first test flight has been made on May 7, 2001. It is so huge, that its wingspan is almost as long as a football field to load 80 cars.