IATA announces finalists for 2019 cargo innovation awards

IATA has confirmed the finalists for its 2019 Air Cargo Innovation Awards, the original 56 ideas having been whittled down to just three by an independent jury panel.

The three ideas in the final running for top prize, all of which relate to ULD technological development, are as follows:

  • Air New Zealand & Cargo Composites – Keep it cool with aeroTHERM
  • SITA, Safran & CHAMP – Smart ULD
  • Unilode Aviation Solutions – Digital Transformation

The three finalists are expected to present their respective ideas at the forthcoming 2019 World Cargo Symposium (WCS), the event to be held in Singapore between March 12 and 14.

Delegates at the event will vote for their preferred idea and the winner will be announced during the closing plenary session of WCS on March 14.

Wide spectrum

Those initial 56 entries covered a wide range of innovative ideas, areas of interest including ULDs, digital solutions and track and trace, segments of the industry that benefit from cutting edge and emerging technologies such as block chain and big data.

The three ideas that have made it to the last round can be summarised as follows:

Air New Zealand Cargo & Cargo Composites – Keep it cool with aeroTHERM: Air New Zealand recently tested and launched a new thermally insulated aeroTHERM ULD aimed at better protecting temperature-sensitive shipments and reducing costs.

aeroTHERM, designed by Cargo Composites, is a container fabric door that is said to insulate 25 times better than regular ULDs and curtains, allowing shipments to stay within desired temperature ranges for longer, and reducing the need for thermal covers, wraps and heavier temperature-controlled ULDs.

SITA, Safran & CHAMP – Smart ULD: Smart ULD combines the latest mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technologies to solve major pressure points on ULD management. Smart ULD digitally tracks and monitors ULDs during their transport, providing geolocation, temperature/shock/vibration/pressure alerts and digital damage reports.

It aims to reduce the disruptive impact of the loss or misplacement of ULDs, as well as moving ULD handling from paper to digital formats.

Smart ULD leverages a specific event-driven blockchain.

Unilode Aviation Solutions – Digital Transformation: Unilode’s Digital Transformation concept is designed to allow for the fast and easy introduction of IoT technology to the world of ULD management and to the air cargo supply chain. It incorporates a Bluetooth-based tracking solution for ULDs to improve transparency across the air cargo supply chain.

In this model, Bluetooth-equipped ULDs will allow customers to use the load device as a proxy for tracking and transmitting status updates of their cargo, while offering improved inventory control and damage reduction of ULD fleets.

The applied technology will at the same time record temperature, humidity, shock and light data that can be used by the customer to create their own service offering for products including perishables, valuables or sensitive cargo.

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