31 March - 01 April, 2020
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Here’s How Finnair Is Using Beacon Technology and Monitoring Tools to Send its Logistics into the Stratosphere
Freight transport is becoming ever more sophisticated, and as the demands placed upon supply chain facilitators increase, companies are on the lookout for ways to streamline their process while simultaneously maintaining maximum efficiency and quality of service.
Finnair is now looking to achieve just that with two great new technological innovations.
The first of these exciting new technologies is an air cargo monitoring tool, named Cargo Eye. With cargo operations at Finnair growing rapidly, Finnair needed a method of making sure the managers and line supervisors in its cargo arm were able to maintain awareness of the goings on in all the sectors they are responsible for, and they found it in Cargo Eye.
Cargo Eye is a versatile tool which can compile data from multiple sources, including global positioning of aircraft and ground vehicles, real-time arrivals/departures/connecting transport times, contents of shipments, and cargo taxi locations. Sensors in the shipments themselves relay data on container conditions such as temperature and humidity, especially crucial for pharmaceutical and food shipments to name but two.
“Cargo Eye is a new operations monitoring and tracking platform that presents live, relevant and contextual data in a simple, graphical view,” said Digital Transformation Lead for Finnair Cargo, Kari Saarikoski. “For example, the CCC (Cargo Control Center) in the COOL cargo terminal can look at one screen and see where every truck and plane is carrying seafood or pharmaceuticals, get updated on its arrival and connecting transport, monitor its contents and temperature, and be prepared to shift ground resources to where they are needed most in anticipation of delivery.”
Data can be continually updated and analysed in a simple to understand display, which gives managers and supervisors all the information they need to keep their cargo planes running smoothly. For example, location data is presented in a Google Maps format, making it instantly familiar and recognisable to the vast majority of operators. Additional tools allow the display to be filtered for certain variables to keep things relevant according to the situation.
Beacon technology is making waves in many industries right now, and the smart tracker solution being put out by Kaltiot is making it possible for Finnair to monitor its cargo assets with even greater accuracy.
Beacons use Bluetooth BLE waves to detect mobile devices and feedback information. This is commonly used in a retail or restaurant setting to deliver personalised purchase recommendations and offers to consumers’ smartphones, but has fantastic applications in logistics as well.
With the Kaltiot solution, there are no base stations required. All the client has to do is attach one of the discrete sensors to any asset – container, vehicle, badge etc. – and it can be located and tracked using the Smart Tracker smartphone app on any compatible device. The effortless setup of Bluetooth beacons makes them an economical and effective method of digitising transport tracking.
“Finnair is using Kaltiot Smart Tracker in their modern airfreight terminal, COOL Nordic Cargo Hub,” said Kaltiot on their website. “Smart Tracker is used to track cargo taxi routes, and to monitor cargo conditions during transportation. Data integration with Finnair Cargo Eye enables automatic data flow to Cargo Control Center where all cargo traffic is controlled.”
Smart Tracker can also pick up other useful data such as shipment temperature. By keeping a real-time monitor on these conditions, fluctuations can be easily identified and weak spots in the supply chain identified and addressed to protect future shipments.
However, the key value driver behind Smart Tracker’s data management is that information can be shared between logistics providers such as Finnair and their clients, e.g. pharmaceutical companies. With all parties able to view the exact same data at the same time, logistics providers can offer their clients unprecedented transparency and security and instill confidence in their service.
The modern freight industry involves no small amount of plate spinning, but, with the help of innovative technology such as Cargo Eye and Kaltiot backing them up, Finnair can make sure everything stays up in the air where it should be.
“Our CCC now has powerful tools giving it a simplified, holistic awareness of all our operations,” said Head of Finnair Cargo Operations, Jukka Glader. “As alerts arise, we can selectively go deeper into a specific system to resolve the issue. This gives us much better resource management.”
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