Inside Logistics

Next gen track and trace for air cargo

Cathay Pacific Cargo progressively rolls out its next-generation track-and-trace, and its proactive monitoring service


December 17, 2020
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After a series of tests, Cathay Pacific Cargo has given a name to its next generation track-and-trace solution.

From now, the next-generation track-and-trace solution will be known as Ultra Track. Accelerated by the Covid-19 vaccine challenge, the project has been expedited and is now in the final stage of preparation for the roll-out of this new product from Q1 2021.

Ultra Track is a multidimensional tracking and data-logging system that uses a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter at piece level. It can record and transmit GPS position, temperature, vibration and humidity in real time, making it suited for temperature-sensitive and fragile shipments.

The system, when phased in, will work in tandem with the Operations Control Centre (OCC), which is staffed with a dedicated 24/7 team who will constantly monitor shipments. They will take steps to intervene and rectify the situation in the event of shipments starting to experience temperature excursions, delays, equipment malfunction or damage.

“By using Ultra Track, and monitoring shipments that use it from our Operations Control Centre, we are able to take remedial action as a situation develops, rather than after the event,” says George Edmunds, GM Cargo Commercial at Cathay Pacific.

“The OCC will be staffed by a team of cargo product professionals to ensure that shipments have the highest level of care.”

Real-time action

Given limited supplies of the vital and life-saving vaccines, and restrictive temperature requirements for their transport and storage, it is important to put things right at the time and not examine evidence after the event, which is often the case with cellular chips in some shipper-provided systems.

Ultra Track reports regularly via beacons in the terminal and within the airport area to give live updates on a shipment’s condition, both at Hong Kong International Airport and at outstations. There will be a phased roll-out to stations across the Cathay Pacific Cargo network, with priority given to vaccine distribution hubs and destinations as they come online.

George adds: “The gradual roll-out of Ultra Track and the OCC reflects our commitment to invest in solutions and technology to continually improve the quality of our offering to customers. They build on our existing and proven capabilities, and their launch comes at a time when the air cargo industry is facing up to the logistical challenge of distributing the Covid-19 vaccines the world so urgently needs.”