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Low-cost pallet could save millions.

Use of a new "pallet on a pallet" shipping system developed for the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) could save the U.S. military millions of dollars in shipment costs. The Associate Intermodal Platform (AIP) system consists of an 82-inch by 102-inch by 8-inch rectangle made of a linear, low-density hexane copolymer. Cargo can be loaded onto the AIR cargo netting attached, and the whole package tied down and loaded onto a 463L pallet for shipment. The AIP can be used alone or to transport a loaded ISO container.

Once in theater, the AIP can be offloaded and sent on to its final destination and the 463L pallet returned to the Defense Transportation System (DTS). Currently, 463L pallets and nets are sent to the final destination and frequently are lost, damaged, or used for other purposes, such as makeshift tent floors.

"The 463L pallet and net system cost $1,700 per set and the [proposed] cost of the AIP system is $400," said TRANSCOM transportation specialist David Blackford. "This equates to a $1.3 million cost avoidance per 1,000 pallets sent to the theater. We send several thousand pallets to theater per month. We created the AIP to keep the 463L assets in the DTS and still meet the COCOM [combatant command] requirements for unitized cargo loads."

The AIP system has been in development for more than 2 years. Operational testing of the first group of 120 AIP systems will be conducted at the Defense Distribution Depot Red River in Texarkana, Texas.
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Publication:Army Logistician
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:253
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