What do you do as a forwarder to track down the location of an urgent shipment with Lufthansa Cargo? You go to the
track & trace tool of the airline, type in the AWB number and you can see if the shipment is ‘on board’ or ‘arrived’. With this correct but general description, the forwarder goes to his customer. But what would the shipper say if the shipment was to be tracked down to a 500 meter accurate location?
Thomas Rohrmeier, Regional Manager for Lufthansa Cargo the Netherlands and Luxembourg, explains to CargoHub
Magazine why the airline has implemented this new kind of track & trace.
Investing in innovation
“The Track & Trace method named Realtime Tracking fits seamlessly within the Lufthansa Cargo 2020 strategy. We not only invest in new aircraft and a new cargo center at Frankfurt Airport, but also in IT improvements”, says Thomas. “For general cargo, the standard web track & trace option is a good tool, but for urgent shipments Realtime Tracking has an added value.
Thomas explains: “The developed device – not any bigger than a mobile phone – contains GSM based technology. This platform is superior to GPS in that is has much better battery life and works also inside of box trailers, containers and warehouses. The battery of a GSM works around 30 days and has full coverage. A frequently asked question is if the GSM is safe on board of a plane. Thomas answers affirmatively:”The GSM automatically switches to airplane mode like a normal phone which makes it safe on board, and that’s why it has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency”
Maximum transparency door-to- door
From the moment a shipment leaves the warehouse of the shipper, it can be accurately determined where it is located. That’s because the shipper can attach or place the GSM in the shipment. At that moment the GSM signal is activated and the forwarder or his customer can track the shipment online. The signal stops when the customer has received the goods and shuts off the GSM. Thomas explains: “This is track & trace on a micro-level. The system offers a maximum transparency for both the shipper and the forwarder. Via the website, at any time of the day, they can check the location of the shipment, from departure at the shipper to delivery at the customers address.