Zurich, Switzerland-based Nexxiot AG who develop and deliver digital supply chain managements has teamed up with Zurich-based Unilode Aviation Solutions, who own and manage what they term as the world’s largest fleet of outsourced unit load devices.
Both companies plan to digitize Unilode’s total ULD fleet within the coming 18 months by equipping them all with Bluetooth sensors. This, they state, will enable the data stored to be processed
and analyzed for Unilode who will then have a continuous automated tracking of their ULD fleet. Unilode and Nexxiot have been running joint trials for this system for the past eleven months and
expect that by early 2021 all 125,000 Unilode ULDs will be fitted with a digital twin. So far, they say that almost 10,000 ULDs are equipped.
Benoit Dumont, Unilode CEO, stated that: “we are very diligent in selecting our partners and have high standards for the companies we cooperate with. Nexxiot is currently the only supplier worldwide with whom we can implement this kind of project in such a short time.”
Simultaneously, Unilode announced the successful completion of an in-flight trial of its ULD tracking solution. The ULD manager, in collaboration with its strategic partner OnAsset Intelligence, tested its smart-phone app which allows tracking of its Bluetooth® equipped ULDs by connecting to an aircraft's commercial Wi-Fi network. The trial, which was conducted on a flight from Hong Kong to Zurich, demonstrates that the Bluetooth® connection between container tag and smartphone is functioning across flight decks. Data transmitted throughout the flight included - besides geolocation - information on temperature, humidity and light in the aircraft's belly.
The proven capability of end-to-end air cargo tracking will open up new avenues in transportation safety by allowing live in-flight temperature monitoring and automated load sequencing control before take-off, Unilode concludes.
Unilode CEO Benoit Dumont reminded that mobile tracking applications have been offered by a number of ULD service providers since 2017 but have rarely been adopted. This, because according to him they miss what customers really need: end-to-end transparency at their fingertips. “We at Unilode are proud to have developed with our strategic partner a mobile application, which meets the customers' needs and underpins Unilode's ambition to bring affordable supply chain transparency to the aviation industry," the executive concluded.
John Mc Donagh