Unit Load Device manager Jettainer announced the launch of a Black Box that will be attached to containers, to monitor multi-sensorial noise, vibration, humidity, temperature, and a multitude of other aspects from the loading of shipments by air until their unloading at destination. At the beginning of 2019 the practical proof of concept phase will begin.
In the case of the “Black Box” deployment, there are currently still more questions than answers, admits managing director Carsten Hernig of Jettainer. “In a certain way, the project resembles a
trip to the moon,” he stated at a Berlin-held press conference, “with open outcome.”
Sounds dramatic but at Jettainer they are convinced that open technical issues will be solved soon to start the test phase according to schedule in Q1 of 2019.
Next on the agenda is the technical certification by the regulator followed by the identification of a launching customer to test the device under operational conditions.
Smart Box coming soon
Once in action, Jettainer’s Black Box will provide a wealth of information, including recorded temperature changes, damages or shocks occurred during loading or on the ground, making both handling and transport of air freight shipments extremely transparent.
However, some major adjustments are still pending completion, including the miniaturization of the current test model that is so far too large. Once this task is accomplished the official approval follows before the device can be launched, demonstrating its many abilities, including transmitting and preserving all shipment data, reporting the status of the ULDs and their geographical location. This way, the box facilitates the tracking and tracing of unit load devices and their contents, providing valuable platform as a basis solving claims quickly in case of damage or loss.
New lightweight pallet deal
This upcoming novelty is flanked by another remarkable move: a partnership between Jettainer and start-up TriLaTec by adding the producer’s revolutionary new “squAIR-timber” named material, replacing traditional wooden bolts onto Jettainer’s ULDs. The product is 80 percent lighter compared to wooden material and 100 percent recyclable because made of raw materials from sustainable sources.
“This innovative solution enables us to constantly increase the efficiency of our customer services and the performance of their cargo product,” comments Jettainer Head of Marketing and PR Martin Kraemer.
Andreas Langemann, Managing Director of TriLatec adds to this: “The Jettainer partnership gives us optimal access to many airlines worldwide, thus making our squAIR-timber solution better known.”
Launching airline was Cargolux that reports stunning weight savings compared to processing and flying goods stacked on wood in combination with time savings during pallet building. A future user could be Lufthansa Cargo that is currently evaluating the introduction of the new ULD, confirmed Head of Communications Jacqueline Casini.
ULD business is facing rapid segmentation
Touching Jettainer’s 2019 market outlook Mr Hernig spoke of a “healthy, organic growth.” In this context, he pointed out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to market an entire ULD package. Airlines tend to request individual services. So we are increasingly offering modular services resembling the toolbox principle,” he stated.
Simultaneously, more and more carriers prefer leasing special ULDs for particular assignments, such as car racks for flying new car models to test tracks or horse boxes for the transport of racehorses to international tournaments. "We responded to that by providing the market with 120 car racks and 15 horse stables," stated Head of Marketing Martin Kraemer. The manager went on to say that "JetLease" is currently the fastest growing segment in the portfolio of the ULD manager, with figures going through the roof.
Currently, Jettainer manages the entire ULD business of 20 mandate airlines, among them big players such as American Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo, Swiss or Etihad.