Swissport is working with Unilode and Descartes to track and monitor Unit Load Devices (ULD) using Bluetooth technology at its cargo warehouses. The cargo handling division will equip its 115 cargo warehouses with tracking sensors during 2020.
During 2020, Swissport will rig its cargo warehouses with Bluetooth readers supplied by Unilode and Descartes. The technology will increase transparency for Swissport customers using digitally tagged ULDs. Geolocation of ULDs enables real-time tracking and inventory control, enabling airlines and freight companies to plan the distribution of their vast ULD fleets more efficiently and cost effectively.
“Our cooperation with Unilode and Descartes and the introduction of global ULD tracking at our cargo warehouses create added value for our customers and drive the digital transformation of the cargo supply chain and the industry”, says Hendrik Leyssens, Swissport’s vice president Global Operations – Cargo.
Benoît Dumont, Unilode CEO, adds: “This new partnership between Unilode and Swissport is instrumental in accelerating the implementation of Unilode’s award-winning digital transformation programme. Unilode will digitise its entire ULD fleet of 140,000 units with digital tags and create a Bluetooth reader network in over 250 locations worldwide within the next two years.
“As Swissport provides air cargo handling and airport ground services to several Unilode ULD management customers worldwide, the installation of Bluetooth readers in Swissport’s warehouses will significantly speed up the implementation process and enable all our customers to benefit from the digital solution much sooner. We are pleased with our new agreement and look forward to cooperating with Swissport and strengthening our relationship in all ULD-related areas,” Dumont says.
Unilode’s digital transformation programme won industry-wide recognition as the recipient of the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award last year at the IATA World Cargo Symposium 2019. The solution enables to transmit data not only on the geolocation of the ULDs but can also share other relevant information such as temperature, humidity, shock and light, using ULDs equipped with Bluetooth digital tags and a network of Bluetooth readers and mobile devices.
Swissport, a global provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling, says it continuously invests in new technologies and automation at its warehouses. Another such example are self-service cargo kiosks which enable truck-drivers to skip counter queues and manual paperwork processing. The kiosks help saving valuable time and often speed up the delivery of time-critical shipments, benefiting Swissport and its customers alike.
In 2019, some 4.6 million tonnes of air cargo passed through Swissport’s 115 cargo warehouses world-wide. Currently, nine facilities are CEIV Pharma-certified by IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators. Swissport continues to add facilities where it sees opportunities for profitable growth. Major cargo expansion projects are currently underway in Frankfurt, Germany, and Melbourne, Australia, both due to open in the third quarter of 2020. Further locations in Australia will be announced soon, it says.