IAG Cargo recently announced a new partnership with Cargo Signal to offer customers a new end-to-end tracking service. We caught up with Cargo Signal’s Global Director, Randy Gould, to find out more about the tech, and what it means for customers, cargo efficiency and tracking.
First of all, just how does the technology work?
Cargo Signal is a sensor-based logistics platform using the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to make cargo ‘smarter’. We use cellular networks – the same networks that connect our smartphones to the internet – to communicate with devices and transmit real time data on everything from location and light through to precise temperature and humidity readings. The scale of cellular network coverage means that wherever the cargo is, it’s able to transmit data when in cellular range.
What can you measure using the tech?
We can communicate a variety of data and information about where the cargo is and its surrounding conditions. With location we go beyond GPS by incorporating cell phone networks and Wi-Fi access points to provide pinpoint accuracy.
The other exciting benefits that we offer include temperature and light monitoring. It’s not just the data, but the processes we’ve developed to respond to alerts and quickly set response protocols in motion. Accurate temperature monitoring is essential for cold chain logistics such as transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals which require precise temperature conditions in order to remain stable. Light is measured mainly for security purposes, as it can indicate intrusion into a container or a pallet being opened.
What do you see as the biggest benefit of the service?
For us it’s all about enabling decisions while cargo is moving and meeting our customers’ needs.
The logistics industry today is based on journey ‘milestones’ such as cargo arriving at a warehouse or moving onto an aircraft. Our technology enables many more updates between these milestones, enabling more control for the end user. The speed of information available means that decisions such as putting the shipment on an earlier flight or moving it to a cold chain facility can be made much faster and ultimately deliver a better outcome.
It’s not just the technology. Our skilled team provides 24/7 support and is highly trained to know exactly how, and when, to use the data to benefit our customers’ current and future business needs. Interpreting the data and triggering the right response protocols is as much art as science. IAG Cargo and Cargo Signal’s teams will work alongside one another to help customers wherever they are in the world. Without this human service, the full potential of the smart cargo technology isn’t fully realised.
What inspired the service? Why did you develop it?
With any technology, the purpose should be to drive efficiency in peoples’ lives and that’s really what inspired us to develop these services. Sensor-based logistics enable us to manage cargo when it’s in transit, and potentially avoid problems that customers couldn’t previously address.
Two areas that we really think we can benefit are cold chain and high security cargo. With temperature sensitive goods such as those carried on IAG Cargo’s Constant Climate service, we can potentially avoid temperature excursions through the use of real time monitoring and responding to sensor data that’s being delivered to IAG Cargo staff. For instance, if we see that the temperature of a container transporting lifesaving vaccines is changing, we can notify people on the ground to take the right action to prevent damage to the product, and we can help customers improve their packaging on future shipments.
With our Security and Visibility offerings we have seen that the downstream effects of misplacement or theft can be multiplied across the supply chain. For example, a small manufacturing component not arriving exactly on time can delay an entire production line. However, using precise location data we can help to prevent this disruption by improving response times and pinpointing missing cargo. In this regard, we see the service as a perfect complement to customers of IAG Cargo’s Secure or Critical products as it adds an additional layer of security and protection to the high value goods being moved on these services.
How have you found working with IAG Cargo?
It’s great to partner with an organisation that has a similar focus on delivering an excellent service to its customers. We’ve spent a lot of time cross training our respective teams on each other’s systems and procedures – which means we’ll ultimately deliver a better service. We’re really excited to offer Cargo Signal service across the IAG Cargo network!
Whether you want better visibility over your supply chain, enhanced security for high-value freight, or more control over temperature-sensitive cargo, adding a sensor-based tracking device within your shipment will give you total peace of mind. Find out more and enquire here.