“Smart Air Cargo Trailer” Research Project Passes First Field Test

Short-distance shipments between airfreight handlers and shipping companies at CargoCity South will be managed using a cloud-based platform and semi-autonomous trucks in the future. Many shipments are not currently operating at full capacity. To help rectify this situation, Fraport is working with partners to test intelligent truck trailers known as “smart trailers.” The aim of the research project is to improve efficiency by reducing waiting times on the ramp and increasing truck utilization.

The smart trailers are fitted with specially developed camera systems that record the contents of the trailer and how full it is. The first test run was successfully completed in early September, with the camera system recognizing the barcodes of the cargo more than 90 percent of the time. Data is transmitted to the cloud-based platform. The shipment is initiated automatically as soon as the truck trailer reaches a sufficient fill level. The scenarios tested included the simultaneous recognition of multiple barcodes, recognizing bent barcodes, and how the system responds to misloaded cargo. In the coming year, this first step will be followed by another test run involving an autonomous truck and
smart trailer.