The central cargo hold is usually pretty big and open, if cargo was placed in loosely then it might shift in flight which can cause the center of mass to shift or damage the walls of the hold. Putting them in containers and fixing those down will prevent that.
The containers can also be weighed before hand and their position set to ensure the center of mass ...
(Source) Cool room in a cargo terminal.
The rabbit arrived fine but there was some sort of mistake and he was locked inside a freezer overnight.
Goods that are perishable and human remains awaiting transport, wait in the freezer before being loaded onto flights.
Different rooms for cargo handling can be seen here, they include:
Passengers' luggage is not loaded in an A380 by one suitcase at a time. That would have been very time consuming.
After passengers check in the luggage and head towards the gate where the superjumbo is parked, their baggage is started to get stored in unit load devices1. And after that, those ULDs are loaded into the airplane:
According to ...
Why is this required to be done?
As far as I know, this is not required by law, it is an operational practice by airlines. According to Wikipedia "It allows a large quantity of cargo to be bundled into a single unit. Since this leads to fewer units to load, it saves ground crews time and effort and helps prevent delayed flights."
Why don't they simply ...
On big airliners, baggage is mostly stowed in containers, called Unit Load Devices. They are packed at the departure airport and pre-sorted to minimize the amount of sorting at a hub, but normally need to be emptied after arrival so the baggage can be re-sorted.
On regional jets and older aircraft which don't take ULDs, bags are still loaded individually ...
This is more a guess:
Think about the rationale behind the rule. A terrorist should not be able to send a bomb on a flight while staying at home. With this rule, a terrorist is forced to sacrifice himself by taking the same flight. Hopefully, most terrorists don't like this idea.
If the luggage wasn't put on board, or was put on another flight, the ...
Well there are several advantages of loading the luggage in unit load devices (ULDs) such as:
In ULD, the luggage suffers much less shock than it would, if left alone. Else, the incidence of baggage manhandling would increase several times. We are already losing \$2.58 bn/year due to this.
ULDs lead to better use of aircraft cargo space. Stacking the ...
Another Airbus document mentions (on page 188, section 5-2-1) full load of A380 as
FWD cargo compartment: 20 containers
AFT cargo compartment: 16 containers
Bulk cargo compartment: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).
and rate of loading and unloading as
Container unloading/loading times:
Unloading = 1.2 min/container
Loading = 1.4 min/container.
In smaller aircraft, the baggage is put directly inside the cargo hold.
In case of larger aircraft, the baggage is put inside the conformal cargo container or the unit load device, which is then placed inside the cargo hold.
Think about the benefits of containerisation. Ships could take days to unload if they carried many different items like lumber, sacks of corn etc. Along came containers and now you can unload a ship in hours. The labour intensive part of loading/stacking is distributed toward the containers themselves, and thus frees up the expensive capital item such as ...
In case of connecting flights in same airline or between partner airliners which allow baggage transfer, the baggage is usually checked in for the duration of the journey i.e. from source to destination.
In case the time between interconnecting flight is short, someone (usually airline agent) picks up the luggage from the the aircraft and loads it into the ...
Normally, baggage takes much longer to switch flights than self-loading cargo, so your scenario is highly unlikely.
In the event of a passenger missing and his/her baggage already on board, all bags need to be unloaded until the orphaned bag is found. When ULDs are used, those must be unloaded first and are then unpacked, mostly on the apron next to the ...
By printing them along with bar codes. RFID mode became operational in HK in 2005. Basically, the airport replaced the barcode only baggage tags with RFID embedded tags:
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) today announced that all of its check-in counters can now print integrated radio frequency identification (RFID) baggage tags. The new tags, which ...
There are some safety and security aspects to containing luggage within containers. When content leaks, goes bad, or even explodes, the container may serve to limit the damage to other luggage within the aircraft, along with the aircraft itself.
On a modern large airliner (particularly for long haul), the bags are loaded into a ULD (Unit Load Device) which are the big silver boxes that you see on airport ramps. These ULDs are then loaded into the cargo hold of the aircraft, which is located directly below the passenger deck.
Here is a photo of the empty cargo hold of an A320 (source):
And this is ...
Also, if the airline is feeding flights to other destinations, baggage can be pre-sorted. For example, a flight into CMB (Colombo, Sri Lanka) is commonly used as a feeder service for onward travel to MLE (Male, Maldives). If all the MLE-destination bags are separated from the CMB-destination bags at the time of loading and are in their own ULDs, those ULDs ...
Parcel services use temperature regulated containers for shipping various products. Pharmaceuticals come to mind. Human organs are normally packed as independent packages, but are sometimes placed in thermally regulated containers. Substantial amounts of produce are shipped via air transport.
Hubs have temperature controlled areas for cargo. It can include ...
I'm not aware of any American carriers that have freezers onboard that are accessible to the crew during flight. For catering purposes, dry ice has been the accepted means of keeping food chilled until preparation and serving. It's primary use was keeping food at cold temperatures while transporting to the aircraft and while on the ground. It wasn't ...
I will keep it short and try to hit the point since I see some good answers here, please feel free to comment to get more detailed information
How does this process happen?
In airport baggage is handled from the check-in desk to the Unit Load Device (ULD) via a Baggage Handling System. In about 15 minutes the baggage is automatically ...