Jettainer Celebrates 20th Anniversary

April 30, 2024
Initially established on April 27, 2004 as a joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and TrenStar Inc, Jettainer became a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Cargo AG in 2009.

Jettainer is celebrating two decades of industry leadership as it marks its 20th anniversary with a bright outlook for the future. Today, Jettainer operates the most efficient fleet of unit load devices (ULDs), which numbers in the six digits, across 500 locations worldwide, serving some of the largest and most reputable airlines.

Initially established on April 27, 2004 as a joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and the U.S. mobile asset management firm TrenStar Inc, Jettainer became a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Cargo AG in 2009 and has experienced significant growth since its inception. A global leader in ULD management has been dedicated to spearheading impactful innovations from the start, continuously committing to sustainability in the industry. 

Founded in 2004, Jettainer began operations with an initial ULD fleet of approximately 27,000 units at a site near Frankfurt Airport. Since then, Jettainer has evolved into a global leader in ULD management and now operates at 15 major hubs in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Its teams of aviation experts now manage a six-digit number of ULDs for a wide range of international passenger and cargo airlines.

In 2014, the company expanded into the American market with the establishment of Jettainer Americas Inc. This subsidiary serves a growing number of customers in North, Central and South America with integrated teams positioned in strategic locations including Dallas, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. In 2017, Jettainer opened its Temperature Control Competence Center located in Abu Dhabi, where a specialized team ensures the efficient global management of temperature-controlled containers. Adapting to globalization, market demands and customer needs, Jettainer has continuously enhanced and strengthened its worldwide set-up. Building on its established presence in the Americas, the ULD management expert introduced a reinforced regional structure effective 2023. This new setup features General Managers who are dedicated to ensuring operational efficiency and maintaining close customer relationships across the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, and Asia.

Jettainer has consistently leveraged innovative technologies to enhance ULD management, increase efficiency and deliver substantial value to its customers and partners. Jettainer introduced JettWare, its in-house IT solution, in the early days, and has continually upgraded the platform to integrate the latest technological advancements. This digital solution, alongside the mobile version JettApp – the industry’s first ULD management app – has significantly streamlined ULD management, for both Jettainer and their customers. In collaboration with university partners, Jettainer has developed a sophisticated decision-support system for ULD management that utilizes big data and machine learning. JettWare and the new generation, JettWare NG, are already incorporating initial artificial intelligence capabilities, with plans for continuous advancements that will boost workflow support even further. To increase transparency and to gain valuable insights into optimizing the lifetime use of ULDs, Jettainer has created digital twins for each ULD in its fleet.

Along with using digital solutions for ULD management, Jettainer is deeply committed to sustainability within the aviation industry. For years, it has been at the forefront of designing ever-lighter ULDs, collaborating closely with its customers and partners. Innovative materials and design have allowed Jettainer to significantly reduce the tare weight of containers after launching the first lightweight ULDs in 2009. Lightweight pallet nets allow customers to make weight savings of around 60 per cent compared to conventional polyester versions. Additionally, the innovative squAIR-timber lightweight construction elements, which replace the wooden beams used to build up air freight pallets, can facilitate weight savings of as much as 80 per cent. Supplemented by tests around lightweight pallets, all these measures contribute to reducing fuel consumption and lowering CO2 emissions in global air freight transport. In 2019 Jettainer launched skypooling as a free-to-use sharing platform for ULDs. This unique approach enables airlines to balance over- and understock of ULDs, avoid the transport of empty containers and pallets and thus also supports the reduction of CO2 emissions.

“Over the past two decades, Jettainer has transformed from a modest operator into a leader in the industry, we extend our gratitude to our customers, partners, and employees for their unwavering support and dedication,” stated Thomas Sonntag, CEO of Jettainer. “This milestone underscores the exceptional quality of our services and the innovative strength of our team."

Jettainer’s long-standing expertise in compiling and interpreting data allows them to know precisely where our customers’ units are. Sonntag highlighted the enormous amount of data within the logistics supply chain, which, when intelligently processed, offers tremendous opportunities. “Smart use of information has always been a key pillar of our steering solution. However, we have not pursued every emerging trend. Instead, we selectively focus on digitalization that has a tangible impact, ensuring that they deliver real value to our customers. For example, there are significant developments in the field of tracking sensors that indicate that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) might only be a bridging technology.”

Sonntag further detailed Jettainer’s strategy for delivering significant enhancements in transparency, workflows, and decision-making through the intelligent use of data across all industry sectors.

“APIs are one solution to smartly work with data to enhance service value and operational efficiency. We already have several interfaces in operation with our customers and partners. Adopting the IATA ONE Record standard for all areas of ULD management is a pivotal next step that Jettainer is preparing to undertake. We remain committed to further shaping the future of air transport logistics with our forward-thinking solutions," Sonntag concluded.