Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

William A. Cunningham III, PhD


As the Department of Defense budget continues to decrease, the growing requirement to meet national strategic mobility objectives with limited resources provides a major impetus for cost effective and credible transportation innovations. The commercial transportation industry has increasingly accepted cargo containerization as a method to take advantage of intermodal shipping efficiency and cost savings. The military implementation of these same shipping initiatives must be flexible, reliable, and compatible with the existing cargo handling systems already designed to deliver fighting forces to conflicts throughout the world. This thesis examines cost and container utilization factors among units familiar with the ISU bins provided by AAR Cadillac Manufacturing. The objective is to evaluate the costs and factors experienced by the responsible units in the procurement, maintenance, and operation of these air cargo containerization systems. The research results indicate that the Life cycle cost of containerization may be greater than the comparable costs of the current 463L palletization system. However, these units indicated several potential advantages to air cargo containerization implementation including: reduced contents damage, pilferage, and pre-clearance requirements; improved system reliability and cargo tracking capability; and better system operations.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology