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Purpose: The United States Air Force often provides effective airlift for cargo distribution, but is at times inefficient. This paper aims to address the under-utilization of military airlift cargo compartments that plagues the airlift system.
Design/methodology/approach: The authors examine seven techniques designed to increase cargo compartment utilization and increase airlift utilization rates. The techniques were applied through load planning software to 30 real-world movements consisting of 159 sorties. They then ran each post-technique movement through a modeled flight environment to obtain cycle movement data. The metrics gained from both the load planning software and the modeled environment were regressed to provide statistical understanding regarding how well each technique influenced cost savings.
Findings: The results showed a 24 per cent elimination of aircraft required and a savings of $14.5m. Extrapolation of the authors’ findings to four years of airlift mission data revealed an estimated annual savings of $1.6bn.


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Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics