Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 63, Issue 9, pp 1271–1283 | Cite as

Automatic aircraft cargo load planning

General Paper


The goal of this paper is the development of a new mixed integer linear program designed for optimally loading a set of containers and pallets into a compartmentalised cargo aircraft. It is based on real-world problems submitted by a professional partner. This model takes into account strict technical and safety constraints. In addition to the standard goal of optimally positioning the centre of gravity, we also propose a new approach based on the moment of inertia. This double goal implies an increase in aircraft efficiency and a decrease in fuel consumption. Cargo loading generally remains a manual, or at best a computer-assisted, and time-consuming task. A fully automatic software was developed to quickly compute optimal solutions. Experimental results show that our approach achieves better solutions than manual planning, within only a few seconds.


mixed integer programming cargo aircraft unit load devices weight and balance moment of inertia fuel economy 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.HEC MontréalMontréalCanada

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