According to this question especially smaller airlines often don't use ULD in the cargo hold. But wouldn't that be dangerous for the stability of the aircraft? Won't the cargo move and unbalance the aircraft?


You can simply tie down the cargo to prevent its movement. Most planes have nets that subdivide the bulk cargo compartment, so as to prevent movement of the baggage. For example, the following image shows the cargo hold of a B737 with dividers.

737 divider

Image from airport-data.com Photographer: Nick Taylor Photography

The ground operations manual of a carrier gives the following procedure for securing loads in A320: Load Securing A321 (bulk loaded)

The divider and door net in each compartment must be closed at any time. Additional tie-down is normally not required except for individual items of load which by their nature, shape or density may constitute a hazard. They must be restrained, which can be achieved by filling the cargo hold or net section volumetrically, or by tie-down.

... Packages weighing more than 150kg shall be restraint or individually tied-down. Single packages should be tied-down. Tie-down of loads to aircraft structure is achieved by straps or nets connected to the tie- down points located on the cargo hold floor.

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    $\begingroup$ So what would happen if I would want to transport a large container with liquid cargo? Do I have to take extra precautions to prevent sloshing? $\endgroup$
    – ROIMaison
    Feb 16 '16 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ @ROIMaison: This is probably the biggest liquid cargo carrying aircraft. $\endgroup$ Feb 16 '16 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesKPolk, This is another case, for the fire fighter aircraft the operator can place any baffles or things alike to prevent sloshing, whereas in the case of commercial cargo this might not be the case $\endgroup$
    – ROIMaison
    Feb 16 '16 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Just a guess, @ROIMaison, but I'd say that containers approved for air-shipment of fluids include baffles to reduce sloshing. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Feb 16 '16 at 21:31

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