WFS cracks code on real-time ULD tracking with Bluetooth technology

WFS worked with Descartes to deploy Bluetooth readers for tracking ULDs and managing inventory across its operations in Europe and the US.


aviation innovation Descartes ULD fleet management Worldwide Flight Services


WFS office

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) worked with Waterloo-based software provider Descartes to deploy Bluetooth readers across its network and provide real-time visibility for shipments and cost-efficient asset management to its airline customers.

The global cargo handler has initiated the use of Descartes core Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) readers at some of the major hubs. These readers were designed to track the movement of tagged shipments and unit load devices (ULDs) in the air or on the ground.

Also read: Air cargo handler WFS taps Transputec for cybersecurity

These readers can help identify the locations of ULD containers and optimise the inventory as well as reduce the costs associated with misplaced equipment or the requirement to lease additional resources.

“Descartes’ Bluetooth readers automate the end-to-end tracking of freight shipments and offer real-time status reports, such as precise temperature, movement, shock, light and humidity data,” said John Batten, WFS executive vice president of cargo for the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia region.

“This is especially important for the high-value and temperature-controlled types of cargo which provide premium revenues for our customers,” he added.

WFS has already deployed these Bluetooth readers for its airport operations in Paris, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, New York and Houston, with plans to introduce the new technology at other international stations to track cargo, parcels and mail shipments, in line with customer demand.

“With greater transparency into the location and condition of ULDs and ground handling equipment through innovations in IoT and network technology, Descartes is helping the air cargo community deliver end-to-end shipment visibility and more secure and efficient air cargo logistics operations,” noted Scott Sangster, vice president, global logistics network at Descartes.



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