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IATA Strategic Partnerships Newsletter

CORE Transport Technology: Tracking ULDs, Where It Is Today

Keeping track of Unit Load Devices (ULDs) has been a long-standing issue for air carriers since the introduction of wide body aircraft in the late 1960’s. The ability to manage ULD inventories and balance a limited resource has been highly reliant on human reporting to identify ULD locations around the world. But what if new industry-changing innovation could be applied to the tracking of ULDs and Cargo?

Today, that’s exactly what’s happening in the ULD sphere. Tests completed recently showed how a new technology provides advantages over existing ULD monitoring. The introduction of COREInsight® ULD now allows carriers to track ULD equipment automatically through the use of Bluetooth® technology. Each ULD is equipped with a small enabled tag which reports its ULD number through a COREInsight network reader. The reader adds the date/time and location stamp, sending the data to the COREInsight cloud database.

Airlines, including Delta Air Lines, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines and others, have been testing and using this application. Their experience has shown impressive results: reduced days in the local loop, a decrease in required inventory of ULDs, improvements on the need to replace lost units and the potential for recouping additional demurrage costs. These are just a few examples of the technology’s success.

Airlines have realized that they can also associate cargo shipments in the tagged ULD and provide an added dimension to track and trace cargo. Carriers know the exact time that the cargo arrives and departs from their facilities. Applying this to cargo shipments allows customers additional visibility to follow their shipments.

Through the application of novel technologies like this, new efficiencies are coming to ULD control worldwide.