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The original idea, a lightweight air freight container, was demonstrated to the Cargo Division of KLM, who encouraged the team to add more innovative properties to the concept leading to the development of locking technology, real-time visibility and electronic documents features over the past few years. The resulting prototype was tested at a small scale with TNT Express in 2014 (phase 1 feasibility study, self-funded).
The purpose of the project described in this application is to improve the current design (Figure 1) and implement a large-scale pilot with selected carriers (demonstration project i.e. SME instrument phase 2).
The design of CargoBox is based on high-grade composite sandwich panels, which are extremely resistant to wear and tear. The CargoBox can be assembled and disassembled without any tooling and is secured by the LockBar, a closing strip equipped with an electro-mechanical lock and including an RFID tag, GPS receiver and wireless data module in order to provide real-time information on the box location and integrity. CargoBox can only be unlocked with a one-time specific security code that is obtained by the shipper after authentication, which eliminates the risk of tampering, as the code will not be available to regular cargo handling operators, but only to trusted operators. The LockBar electronics automatically switches off the wireless data module upon boarding the aircraft, and switches on again upon debarking. See section 1.4.2 for details on the authentication and automatic switching on/off functions.
CargoSyst is an information exchange platform for real-time tracking and tracing, exception management, exchange of e-documents between involved stakeholders and management of the container pool. It allows airfreight stakeholders to visualize the location and status of each CargoBox, manage locking/unlocking rights and flag any alert related to possible tampering.