Jettainer develops new ULD software to assist in fleet management
16 / 03 / 2016
ULD management firm Jettainer and the University of Cologne are in the process of developing a new tool that will offer live decision making assistance to improve the management of ULD fleets based on analysis of large amounts of data.
Jettainer sales director Thorsten Riekert told Air Cargo News that it had been working on the new system for the last two years.
Initial tests have already been carried out in co-operation with Alitalia Cargo but the ULD firm is in the process of finalising a new testing phase with larger customers.
There was no definite time line for launch, but Riekert said the company was already beginning to highlight the tool to new customers.
Riekert explained that the software would remove the need for ULD controllers to do much of the background work they need to do when deciding how to manage ULDs.
The system would offer proactive live assistance, for example, offering alternative routes and scheduling scenarios within a few seconds, or give options on the best way to reduce ULD overstocks.
The tool will also provide various parameters, such as speed or environmental impact, to allow controllers to adopt settings to meet their own criteria.
However, Riekert was keen to point out that the project was not designed to remove control from humans and that the controllers would always make the final decision.
“The decision support system allows the controller to focus more on the optimisation of the ULD fleet.
“The final decision will be made by the controller but the work in collecting all the information to find the right decision is automated.
“The controller can then focus on making the ULD fleet work as optimally as possible and therefore reduce the amount of equipment they need.
“This will create cost efficiencies, help reduce the amount of equipment needed and also help reduce CO2 output.”
The software will come at no extra cost to customers. Jettainer will benefit from offering a new value added software, which will further increase efficiency in ULD fleet usage.
In the future, other packages like weather data, holiday periods or even information on events will be incorporated within the system.
This will then enable it to take into account any envisaged increase in the need for ULDs in conjunction with a major event.
Six research staff at the University of Cologne and eight employees from the company have been working on the Jettainer-funded research project.
Once the live test has been concluded, a decision about the next steps will be made at the end of the year.