IATA Innovation Award finals dominated by ULD solutions

IATA air cargo innovation award
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the three finalists of the 2019 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards, with ULD solutions dominating the field.

The finalists were selected from 56-entries covering a wide-range of areas including ULDs, digital solutions and track and trace that used cutting edge and emerging technologies such as block chain and big data to develop innovative solutions to benefit the industry.


The three companies are:

• Air New Zealand Cargo & Cargo Composites – Keep it cool with aeroTHERM
• SITA, Safran & CHAMP – Smart ULD
• Unilode Aviation Solutions – Digital Transformation

An independent jury, comprising of industry experts, academics and executives of leading logistics companies selected the finalists based upon their assessment of the ideas’ potential to become the basis of a viable new venture, its potential for value creation, and the likelihood of achieving success based upon the team’s plan and experience.

The three finalists will present their submission to delegates at the 13th IATA World Cargo Symposium in Singapore, who will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred idea. The winner will be announced during the closing plenary of the event on the 14 March 2019.

Summary of the winning submissions

Air New Zealand Cargo & Cargo Composites – Keep it cool with aeroTHERM

• Submitted by Jonathon Dale, manager Commercial and Ventures, Air New Zealand Cargo (New Zealand)

Air New Zealand recently tested and launched new thermally-insulated aeroTHERM ULDs aimed at better protecting temperature-sensitive shipments and reducing cost.

Designed by Cargo Composites, the thermal product is an industry first container fabric door that insulates 25 times better than regular ULDs and curtains, allowing shipments to stay within desired temperature ranges for longer, reducing the use of thermal covers, wraps and heavier temperature controlled ULDs.

The aeroTHERM curtain, coupled with the aeroBOX’s insulated honeycomb panels, frameless design and secure closure mechanism, work together to minimise energy exchange, keeping shipments cooler or warmer for longer.

SITA, Safran & CHAMP – Smart ULD

• Submitted by Arnaud Brolly, portfolio manager – Airline Operations, Air Travel Solutions, SITA (Singapore)

Smart ULD is an innovative solution combining the latest mobile, IoT and blockchain technologies to solve major pain-points on ULD management. Smart ULD digitally tracks and monitors ULDs during their transport, providing geolocation, temperature/shock/vibration/pressure alerts, digital damage reports.

It aims to reduce the disrupting impact the loss or misplacement of ULDs, as well as moving ULD handling from paper to digital formats.

Smart ULD leverages a specific event-driven blockchain, to organise the full supply chain. It brings more visibility and event transparency to all stakeholders in need to exchange data. Smart ULD contributes to enhance the efficiency of supply chain processes.

Unilode Aviation Solutions – Digital Transformation

• Submitted by Markus Flacke, head of Product Management & Solution Development, Unilode Aviation Solutions (Germany)

Unilode’s concept will allow for the fast and easy introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) to the world of ULD management and to the air cargo supply chain. Unilode has developed together with its partners a Bluetooth-based tracking solution for load devices potentially creating transparency across the whole supply chain.

In this model the Bluetooth-equipped ULD allows customers to use the load device as a proxy for tracking and transmitting status updates of their cargo whilst offering improved inventory control and damage reduction of their ULD fleet.

The applied technology will at the same time record temperature, humidity, shock and light information that can be used by the customer to create their own service offering for products like perishables, valuables or sensitive cargo.

The jury

• Noor Adan, coordinator Supply Chain, Universal Postal Union
• Holger Bürskens, partner, Arnecke Sibeth
• Liana Coyne, chief operating officer, Coyne Airways Ltd.
• Wendy Eitan, coordinator e-Commerce & Physical Services, Universal Postal Union
• Goh Puay Guan, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore
• Serene Ho, director, National Trade Platform (NTP) Office, Singapore Customs
• Darryl Judd, chief operating officer, Logistics Executive Group
• Wolfgang Lehmacher, senior supply chain executive, consultant and entrepreneur
• Bernd Maresch, owner, MARESCH Ltd.

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