Big bytes: AirBridge and Unilode extend Bluetooth tracking for ULDs

Freighter operator AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and ULD management provider Unilode Aviation Solutions have extended their partnership for the extensive usage of Transmitting Portable Electronic Devices (TPEDs) for ULDs, pallets and containers.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE v.5.0) tracking and sensing devices will be mounted to ULDs supplied and managed by Unilode and carried in the cargo compartments of the Russian carrier’s Boeing 747 freighter fleet.
The monitoring devices will be used to track ULDs, register all environmental parameters, covering such crucial factors as temperature, humidity, illumination and shock actions to "guarantee 100% transparency of shipment data".
ABC will get accurate information from Unilode about a ULD’s cargo status and its location, be it in the air or on the ground, in a warehouse or on the apron.
Both companies have reached agreements on the terms of BLE v. 5.0 usage, with the main work to be completed afterwards.
ABC and Unilode are working on the roll-out, making sure all the ULDs are equipped with BLE v.5.0 and that Bluetooth readers are installed at warehouse and ground handling premises. They will also ensure that dedicated IT infrastructure is set to capture signals for real-time cargo monitoring.
ABC general director Sergey Lazarev stated: "We are delighted to see our partnership with Unilode progressing and embracing new areas, such as  the internet of things (IoT), which will not only facilitate data accuracy but also enhance digital customer experience with the provision of detailed information for each and every shipment.
“This is especially important for special cargo: pharmaceutical products, oversize and heavy goods and live animals, etc. With the penetration of digitalization taking place in the air cargo sector, we want to make sure that our customers get the full benefit of it, be it general cargo, abc pharma, abc XL or other specialist dedicated services."
Unilode chief executive Benoît Dumont said: "ABC is Unilode’s loyal customer since 2004 and we are very pleased to work together in our digital transformation program which will enhance Unilode’s ULD management with the most innovative solutions available in the market.
“The BLE v.5.0 device is the most cost-effective solution for the transmission of shipment parameters with its primary benefits being improved speed and greater range.
“Thus, it operates faster and over greater distances than previous versions of Bluetooth. Unilode and ABC have been improving the quality of shipment data, which provides timely and detailed information to all stakeholders in the value chain." 
As part of its data-capture strategy, ABC has upgraded its online track and trace tool, introduced 24/7 Control Tower to monitor status of special cargo shipments, and reinforced its team at all levels.