Air New Zealand deliver plan for automated cargo tracking

By Prateek V

Air New Zealand announced its plan to deploy Descartes Core’s Unit Load Device to seamlessly track and display key updates about a freighters journey

On 17 September 2019, Air New Zealand announced that it will be deploying the Descartes Core, Unit Load Device (ULD) tracking technology across its global network of 3,400 flights per week on average.  During 2018 Air New Zealand had a revenue of AU$5.5bn, generated by a fleet of over 100 aircraft. The implementation of the ULD system will allow them to automatically monitor post or cargo shipments whether on land or air.

“With the dramatic rise in ecommerce, Air New Zealand is handling a growing volume of air cargo and the industry’s traditional manual practices for tracking freight are no longer sufficient,” said Jonathon Dale, Manager Commercial, Cargo CMCL and Ventures at Air New Zealand. “With the Descartes system, we now have a digital solution to identify the exact location of an air freight container and the status of its load at any given moment. The ability to continuously and automatically track air freight is a powerful boost to customer service and helps to significantly reduce the costs of air cargo operations.”


The ULD is a next-gen solution to asset tracking that helps air carriers automate tracking to increase operational efficiency by providing real time updates and visibility of international cargo containers. The technology scans Bluetooth markers affixed to ULDs before loading. These are linked to the Descartes’ Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) network which provides real-time connectivity. Whether on the ground or airborne, users can locate freighters and learn precise  information about its journey such as temperature conditions, movement, humidity and possible emergencies such as fires.

"We’re pleased to help Air New Zealand modernize its ULD fleet tracking practices,” said Ian Craig, VP, Product Management at Descartes Systems Group. “Descartes has a long-standing history of innovation in the air cargo industry with its air messaging and security filing technologies. Now, with the broadest reach and network coverage in the industry, and the ability to tag and track ULDs in real-time, air carriers have the means to provide customers with the accurate and real-time cargo updates they are demanding in an era where the ability to report on the movement of goods has never been more critical to supply chain operations.”


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