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Greenville Business Magazine

ACL Airshop Announces New New ULD Fleet Management App

Jun 04, 2019 09:54AM
ACL Airshop, a steadily growing leader in products and services for the global air cargo and airlines industry, announces another innovative technology, an industry first: a new mobile app called FindMyULD. The trademarked FindMyULD app is specifically designed to enhance every data requirement end-to-end in air cargo transactions, across the entire worldwide ecosystem of the air cargo industry. From location and status accuracy to barcoding and Bluetooth scanning and tracking, FindMyULD pulls together all of ACL Airshop’s ULD management services in one seamless tool. This major reveal was made at the Air Cargo Europe trade show in Munich, along with a Press briefing and live real-time demonstrations.

Jos Jacobsen, the company’s chief technology officer and managing director-Europe & Global Leasing, said, “We want to keep enhancing the customer experience; these innovations are made for our customers. Streamlining and accelerating the traditional ULD management experience is our goal. This technology-driven approach lets us advance our leasing model beyond the cumbersome pooling model, for example, and offer outright better value through efficiency across our global network for our 200-plus airlines customers. This tailored and uncomplicated approach lets the airline keep its own assets, not clumped into a giant amorphous pile of ULDs scattered around. Our real-time ULD Control reporting capability is augmented with Bluetooth tracking, and our three global Operations Centers serving all time zones from Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and New York form the digital nervous system for our offerings. FindMyULD now even further redefines the meaning of fast, accurate customer service. We measure our responsiveness to customers in minutes or hours, not the more-typical days or weeks that bulkier, sluggish business models present. Plus, we have a huge inventory of ULDs strategically placed around our large network of world hubs, and indeed we are growing that network every year.”

For several years, ACL Airshop has been investing in new technologies aimed at answering airlines clients’ needs for more transparency, speed, and efficiency in handling cargo and ULDs themselves. Airlines, cargo centers, ground handlers, freight forwarders, airport storage facilities, equipment manufacturers, and other players in the ULD transport chain are calling for faster digitalization in the air cargo sector. ACL Airshop was first-to-market in its niche with Bluetooth real-time tracking and tracing, and is already assisting several large airlines clients with actual implementation on 3 continents. FindMyULD is the logical next step forward.

By combining its proprietary ULD Control logistics management programs with Bluetooth and barcoding, ACL Airshop has found a game-changing tipping point. Namely, the ability to tie ULD serial numbers to tagging device serial numbers, with linkage to the airway bill itself.

Wes Tucker, executive vice president of ACL Airshop said “That was our ‘Ah-Ha Moment.’ Suddenly, as we keep rolling out ULD tags and readers in an ever-growing Internet of Things, we can help airlines achieve the speed, service, and accuracy that their shippers and other end-customers expect in the high-speed world of E-Commerce. Or as we now call it, M-Commerce. The M stands for Mobile.”

ACL Airshop estimates that over a 3 to 5-year period, these technology tools can save a typical airline 6% to 10% on the overall Life Cycle Cost of its ULD fleet. For example, if an airline has 5,000 ULDs in its fleet, ACL Airshop forecasts that its array of technology efficiencies can yield the same cargo capability with 4,500 ULDs, especially when coupled to ACL Airshop’s growing international network at so many major hubs. Jacobsen said “The bigger we get, and the more we invest in technology, the more efficient we are for our customers.” Tucker added “And we are happy to share some of those savings with our airlines clients. It makes us more competitive, and the airline more profitable—win/win for both.”

Unit Load Devices (ULDs) such as pallets and containers are the basic apparatus enabling air cargo shipments. ACL Airshop owns, leases, and deploys over 50,000 ULDs, more than most major airlines. ACL Airshop has manufacturing resources and industry partners for various cargo control products in the US, Germany, China, and Taiwan, including an ultramodern new manufacturing center in South Carolina USA (grand opening announced recently). ACL Airshop also has growing array of company-owned and partnered Repair Stations for the overhaul of serviceable ULDs.

Although ACL Airshop competes for and wins large, multi-year, full ULD fleet management contracts with major carriers, the company’s legacy strength is in Short Term Leasing of ULD’s, especially when customers need some extras at times of peak or unexpected demand.

ACL Airshop has more than doubled in the past three years, with twice the number of airport locations, over twice the number of ULDs, and significant expansion of its global supply chain. Its new state of the art factory in the U.S. is a vivid example of the company’s continuous improvement programs on six continents. Steve Townes, CEO of ACL Airshop and founder of Ranger Aerospace, said, “We heard the voice of the customer, and it was clear we needed to expand the network, improve our logistics efficiencies, and invest in fresh technologies, all the while taking very good care of our people.” ACL Airshop recently won the 2019 “Top Workplaces” award as a strong employer.

ACL Airshop continues expanding geographically to keep pace with rising industry trends, and investing for growth in each of its lines of business. The company is developing scale and efficiency as its worldwide services system expands. Over the past 36 years, ACL Airshop has become a leading worldwide one-stop shop for leasing, sales, repairs, logistics control of Unit Load Devices, and cargo control components manufacturing.