Unilode and Cathay Pacific successfully completed ULD Bluetooth tracking trials providing end-to-end visibility of cargo shipments between Hong Kong and Melbourne.
The ‘proof of technology’ trial saw low-energy Bluetooth beacons and readers in the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong and the airport ramp area. In the second part of the trial, he team tested the technology in more stages of the end-to-end journey of shipments under Cathay Pacific’s care – including the ground infrastructure at the destination. Trial shipments were at both ULD and selected piece level, Cathay said.
With the warehouse in Melbourne, Australia, fitted with the Bluetooth readers shipments were tracked from the aircraft, across the ramp into the warehouse up to its collection. Cathay said the trial was a success in tracking location, the technology is multi-dimensional and will be able to record and transmit other information about the shipment including temperature.
The project team, consisting of Cathay Pacific, OnAsset, Nexiot and Unilode, was able to deliver what Unilode desires as the “flawless” capture of data for all relevant supply chain events into Cathay Pacific’s cargo management systems.
The trial included the world’s first deployment of Bluetooth Low Energy version 5 technology that delivers high performance and range over any other Bluetooth deployment previously conducted.
The trial also featured another world-first with data capture being conducted with a mix of fixed readers and using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), which all parties believe marks the true game-changer for delivering reliable and robust tracking services to the industry.
Calvin Hui, eCargo and Digital Enablement manager at Cathay Pacific Cargo, says: “Our cargo terminal is a different environment to many of the warehouses to where we deliver cargo at outports. While the terminal is a complex, multi-storey facility, most outport warehouses will be single-storey and densely packed with cargo. We needed to make sure the technology works in this sort of environment too.”
Hui adds: “With the success of this trial, we are a step closer to bringing the next generation track and trace solution to our customers.”
The upscaling of the ongoing trials will continue the two companies said, noting further announcements on the rollout schedule will be made soon.