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Advancing Bluetooth Tracking for Air Cargo Toward a Giant “Internet of Things”

GREENVILLE, S.C., March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — ACL Airshop LLC of the US and CORE Transport Technologies, Inc. of New Zealand continue rolling out their innovative, field-proven Bluetooth® enabled logistics technology to the global air cargo industry. Automated tracking of Unit Load Devices (ULD’s) for air cargo gives carriers and their shipping customers real-time visibility and new efficiencies. The inventively adapted and patented technology replaces manual tracking for ULDs, which move cargo shipments, baggage and mail.

Air carriers are now adopting this innovative, proven technology advancement for better air cargo efficiencies. The two companies concluded extensive field tests with international air carriers and an array of multiple ULDs, with 100% tracking reliability. Regulatory aspects such as compliance with FCC and FAA rules have been addressed, plus rigorous adherence to RTCA-DO-160 (“Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment”). The big data and predictive analytics of this program are managed in The Cloud, to military-equivalent security standards. This cutting-edge patented tracking technology, when combined with ACL Airshop’s international Operations Center and CORE’s Cloud-based analytics, gives a new competitive edge for airlines and their cargo customers.

“We listened to our customers, and these technical enhancements are the result,” said Wes Tucker, Exec. VP of ACL Airshop. “Now we are rolling it out. Airlines will be able to track the actual cargo loads by the container and pallet, with real-time ‘dot on the map’ monitoring and status reports.” This is coupled as a significant technical enhancement to ACL’s already robust ULD Control and bar-coding systems used by some of its customers. Airlines who have performed extensive Due Diligence on the CORE Bluetooth tracking system call it “best in class.”

“This is the ultimate solution for ULD Equipment tracking available today,” said Ian Craig, Managing Director of CORE. “This is a big step forward for numerous airlines and cargo carriers. Our COREInsight Tracking service tracks cargo assets in real time. We know this is a low-cost logistics enhancement that remarkably improves how carriers manage their ULD fleet, saving money long-term, and yielding better service to the ultimate end-customers. ACL Airshop and CORE customers will always know where their ULD’s are located and when they are being utilized.” During the past several years of testing and implementation, airlines have said they want improved tracking and immediate transparency for ULD shipments. ACL Airshop and CORE are first-to-market with these responsive innovations in the air cargo segment.

Ian Craig predicts: “2018 will be the breakout year for Bluetooth, the year that this disruptive technology changes air cargo—again. We are enabling an aviation logistics revolution, just as the air waybill revolutionized air cargo almost 60 years ago.”

The cost of Bluetooth real-time tracking is remarkably modest compared to the many benefits it yields, and compared to costlier competing technologies. Continued roll-out is planned to be brisk.

Ultimately, as more airlines adopt this technology innovation, as many thousands of Bluetooth tags are attached to ULDs, and as more and more readers are installed at airport cargo centers and various handling facilities, a giant “Internet of Things” will be linked across the world’s air transport industry, benefitting all. The new tracking system enables cargo carriers to produce electronic Unit Control Receipts (“UCR’s”), an IATA requirement when ULDs are transferred between parties, thus yielding a fully automated solution for shippers’ transactions.