One of the global leaders in outsourced unit load device (ULD) management and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions, Unilode Aviation Solutions has achieved another important milestone in the implementation of its award-winning digital transformation programme.

The winner of the 2019 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award has successfully completed an in-flight trial of its ULD tracking solution.

In collaboration with its strategic partner OnAsset Intelligence, Unilode tested its new smartphone app, which allows tracking of its Bluetooth equipped ULDs by connecting to an aircraft’s commercial Wi-Fi network.

The trial, which was conducted on a flight from Hong Kong to Zurich, demonstrates that the Bluetooth connection between container tag and smartphone is functioning across flight decks. Besides geolocation, the data transmitted throughout the flight included information on temperature, humidity and light in the aircraft’s belly.

The proven capability of end-to-end air cargo tracking will open up new avenues in transportation safety by allowing live in-flight temperature monitoring and automated load sequencing control before takeoff.

The trial signals that the non-proprietary Bluetooth technology selected by Unilode will be able to bring affordable and reliable IoT technology to the world of ULD management.

Unilode is currently undergoing one of the industry’s largest digital transformation programmes and is equipping its fleet of 140,000 ULDs with Bluetooth-based tracking devices. Unilode’s customers will benefit from this solution by gaining access to ULD tracking data and additional information such as temperature and shock records.

OnAsset Intelligence CEO Adam Crossno said: “The entrepreneurial spirit of the team at Unilode is amazing to watch. I am proud my team’s solution can be used to finally solve the missing links in the air cargo supply chain and to provide true value to customers.”

Unilode CEO Benoît Dumont added: “Unilode’s mobile in-flight tracking application is a great example of the co-creation powers between industry leaders. Mobile tracking applications have been offered by a number of ULD service providers since 2017 but have rarely been adopted, because they miss what customers really need: end-to-end transparency at their fingertips.

“We at Unilode are proud to have developed with our strategic partner a mobile application, which meets the customers’ needs and underpins Unilode’s ambition to bring affordable supply chain transparency to the aviation industry.”