Descartes improves ULD tracking and Air NZ signs up

Descartes has upgraded is ULD tracking service to what it says is an “industry-leading, Bluetooth-enabled solution” to automatically monitor the real-time location of international mail, parcel and cargo shipments, whether they are on the ground or in the air.

Descartes Core ULD Tracking “helps air carriers automate freight tracking, increase operating efficiencies and improve asset management by providing up-to-the-minute insights into the status of air shipments bundled into a single ULD container”.

The company said that, combined with sensor improvements designed to increase precision and readability across a broader spectrum of assets, these recent enhancements present new visibility performance standards for the industry and offer air carriers new benefits, including extensive network coverage and high performance.

It has infrastructure in more than 130 cities and 1,300 facilities, with each reader in the network able to read up to 1,000 tags a minute “without missing or duplicating tags, even in airport environments where metal objects can interfere with reliable connectivity”.

The solution supports different types of sensors that provide insight into ULD location and other attributes such as temperature, motion/shock, humidity, smoke, ingress/egress (to an individual door and time), battery and occupancy for dollies and loaders.

Air New Zealand has just announced that it will be using the Descartes system.

“With the dramatic rise in ecommerce, Air New Zealand is handling a growing volume of air cargo and the industry’s traditional manual practices for tracking freight are no longer sufficient,” said Jonathon Dale, manager commercial, cargo cmcl and ventures at Air New Zealand.

“With the Descartes system, we now have a digital solution to identify the exact location of an air freight container and the status of its load at any given moment. The ability to continuously and automatically track air freight is a powerful boost to customer service and helps to significantly reduce the costs of air cargo operations.”

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