Unilode Aviation Solutions

Number of Employees: 587
Sales: USD 80 million in 2016

Unilode Aviation Solutions, formerly CHEP Aerospace Solutions, is the global leader in pooling, management, maintenance and repair of unit load devices (ULDs) for the aviation industry. The company owns and manages the world’s largest independent fleet of approximately 100,000 ULDs and owns the largest global network for maintenance and repair of ULDs and galley carts.

Unilode was established in 2011 following the acquisition and integration of four leading ULD solutions companies. Through subsequent acquisitions, the Company has become the global leader in pooling, management, maintenance and repair of ULDs for the aviation industry. Unilode is headquartered in Zurich and owns and manages approximately 100,000 ULDs, and serves more than 90 airlines across an unparalleled network of 48 global services centers and 420 airports, supported by over 550 expert team members.

ULDs are containers and pallets used for transportation of cargo and baggage on passenger and cargo aircraft and constitute a mission critical part of the aviation infrastructure. Unilode's customer base consists primarily of passenger and cargo airlines, which use ULDs under long-term contracts.

To Unilode Aviation Solutions

Market trends and drivers 

The outlook for global air traffic is positive with steady long-term growth of 3-4% per year expected. This is driven by substantial growth on Asia-related routes and above-GDP growth in developed economies. Aircraft fleet growth is directly tied to these drivers and supports the demand for ULDs and related services that Unilode provides to the airline industry.

Outsourcing of ULD ownership and management by airlines has strongly increased over the last decade and is expected to continue growing in light of airlines’ efforts to outsource non-core activities. Outsourced ULD management provides a strong value proposition to customers, primarily through significant cost and investment savings as well as operational efficiency improvements, while customers can focus on the core business of flying passengers and cargo.

Together with one other provider, Unilode Aviation Solutions represents the vast majority of the outsourced ULD management industry, which is characterized by intact entry barriers and high stability.

Investment potential

Unilode Aviation Solutions has a proven business model with a sound and unique value proposition to airline customers. The business provides essential assets and services in a time-critical and complex aviation environment, with no substitute product available.

The business plan calls for continued growth with the company’s healthy customer base, offering ULD pooling and management to more blue-chip airlines around the globe, achieving operational excellence, and expanding into adjacent business areas.