Air New Zealand is rolling out new tracking technology which will allow the airline to more easily track and analyse the movements of cargo shipments and its cargo equipment worldwide.
The airline is installing more than 5,500 Bluetooth tags on its cargo containers, pallets and unit load devices and more than 100 readers at 29 airports it provides cargo services to around the world.
When a tagged item passes the reader, it automatically updates an online application providing real-time information to the team.
Air New Zealand General Manager of Cargo Rick Nelson said the technology will drive enormous efficiencies for the airline.
“This technology has been introduced as a result of direct feedback from our cargo and airport staff who saw an opportunity to enhance our handling processes,” he said. “These Bluetooth tags and readers will not only allow us to speed up cargo handling but also improve our accuracy and inventory management and help to locate any missing items.”
The airline has been working with Core Transport Technologies Inc on the technology which has been designed and manufactured in New Zealand.
The tech firm’s managing director Ian Craig said: “We believe this to be the first time this type of technology has been deployed at this large scale anywhere in the world.”
While the technology is only being used in Air New Zealand’s internal process at this stage, the airline hopes to make it customer-facing in the future.
Nelson added: “We see significant potential for this technology – it could be rolled out at airports to monitor ground service equipment, or used to manage mail shipments and eventually we would like to see it become customer facing so our cargo customers can more easily track their shipments.”
Air New Zealand Cargo operates an average of 3,566 cargo flights per week and exports a total of 42,000 tonnes of goods from New Zealand annually.