When Hong Kong-based Virtual Control formally releases its new CODEX Data-As-A-Service (DaaS) platform during Q2 2021, the company will be poised to disrupt the entire ecosystem of air cargo security monitoring and data control.
Presently in its final stages of product testing at major air cargo hubs, CODEX will provide shippers with a comprehensive understanding of their cargo’s entire journey from start to finish.
“Under the systems presently in place, containers can be tracked by Bluetooth tags,” says Virtual Control’s president Thomas Gerstner. “You may be able to track where your cargo is physically, but you have zero transparency who’s in charge of it and what are the current conditions of that container and its precious cargo at any point in time. With our CODEX platform, we answer all those questions in real-time.”
But it’s also more than just tracking. The data CODEX will generate allows shippers to defend claims, which is of interest to insurance companies. It will also allow airlines and other shippers to aggregate data to determine who might be their most trustworthy partners at various hubs, in order to minimize risk and maximize efficiency.
Plus, this system is not intended to supplant existing infrastructure; rather CODEX is actually designed to work in conjunction with current technology, which is a major plus in this margin thin industry.
According to Gerstner, the process begins through the simple use of a mobile application, deployed on the tarmac when cargo is loaded into Unit Load Devices – aircraft-specific storage containers colloquially known as ULDs. The app captures information from the ULD, storing everything from content information, weight distribution and load configuration while the smartphone camera captures a digital record of the unit and its physical condition. Throughout the delivery process, the system tracks, then delivers information automatically, recording any product damage while also identifying all handovers of cargo custody.
“Through a combination of AI and Blockchain technology, CODEX will essentially create the world’s most trusted data ecosystem for the air cargo industry,” Gerstner said. “But as an added benefit CODEX will also provide a financial advantage to airlines and shipping companies by reducing liability from safety risks while instantly identifying the party who may be liable for damages, thereby adding an additional layer of discovery to any potential insurance claim.”
The need for this service, Gerstner says, has never been greater. “The value of all goods transported by air freight – nearly 50 percent of which travels on passenger aircraft – is more than 18 Billion in US dollars, representing 35 percent of the world’s trade,” he says. “And that number is only going to continue growing, as the demand for cargo air freighters is expected to increase roughly 60 percent over the next five years.
“ULDs are the key to the entire air-cargo supply chain. There are presently more than a million such containers in service worldwide worth a replacement value of over $1 Billion. That gives you an idea of the size and scope of this industry.
“Through CODEX, we are essentially creating a new data economy for the air cargo industry by providing the platform of trust and transparency around these ULDs that has never existed before.”
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