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A simulation approach for aircraft cargo loading considering weight and balance constraints
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CitationAgbas, A. ve Kuşakçı, A. O. (2021). A simulation approach for aircraft cargo loading considering weight and balance constraints. International Journal of Business Ecosystem & Strategy, 3(1), 21-31.
Air cargo transport is a growing industry in parallel with the growth in world trade and e-commerce. The global air cargo transport traffic getting busier, the importance of timely loading with minimum error is increasing. Therefore, digitalization of the air cargo loading process is needed. Assignment of Unit Load Devices (ULDs) to the specific positions on the freighter is performed by loadmasters by manual or semi-manual methods. This study aims to design a simulation model, which performs the ULD assignment automatically by simulating the loading process performed by the experienced loadmasters under the weight and balance constraints. The SEMMA (sample, explore, modify, model, assess) model is used while generating the simulation model. Fifty real-world loading orders were used to assess the performance of the model. The ULD assignment process by the simulation model and the loadmasters using semi-manual loading were compared with regard to time and center of gravity performance indicators. The results demonstrated that the simulation model can load all the given sets of ULDs, as efficiently as a loadmaster with a similar center of gravity in a shorter period of time. In conclusion, the proposed simulation model provides an efficient solution to the ULD assignment problem. However, the base model generated may be improved to address various real-world scenarios.