Watch: dnata Enhances Cargo Services with Innovative Drone Technology
dnata has partnered with Gather AI, a US-based technology start-up, and launched autonomous drones in its warehouses at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in the USA, to digitise acceptance and warehouse inventory processes by monitoring shipments with 99.8% accuracy.
Gather AI’s innovative software enables the drones to map the environment, collect inventory data, count cases, measure temperature, and read barcodes using only their cameras, without the need for any additional active infrastructure.
The drones are paired to a tablet device providing live inventory data. The collected data can be viewed directly on the tablet or the web, via a user-friendly application.
The drones can operate at temperatures as low as -10 Celsius degrees, enabling dnata to take advantage of the technology in its state-of-the-art cool chain facilities, too. dnata plans to gradually roll out the drones across its global cargo network in the next years.
Guillaume Crozier, dnata’s Divisional Vice President for Operations and Product Development, said: "We are excited to introduce leading-edge drone technology in our operations to take cargo handling to the next level.
"Our partner’s autonomous drones and inventory management platform provides greater transparency across our entire operations.
"This new technology, combined with our strong cargo product expertise, enables us to significantly enhance efficiency and mitigate the risk of revenue leakage throughout the customer journey."
Sankalp Arora, Gather AI’s Co-Founder and Chief Robotics Engineer, said: "Our drones gather label reads, inventory counts, temperature and volumetric data using AI, providing traceability across operations while providing exceptions against the facility inventory software.
"This transparency coupled with near-real-time visibility brings the power of analytics to physical spaces, minimizing revenue leakage while helping develop trust across operations.
"However, it is dnata’s dedication to bringing this transparency to their customers, combined with their insights in the air cargo industry that has been critical in applying our technology to the air cargo sector with a compelling ROI."
Over the past year, dnata has significantly invested in new technology and digitalisation.
The company’s investments include hi-tech cool dollies in Australia and Singapore, UV cabin cleaning service in Switzerland, a baggage disinfection station in Singapore, a just-in-time freight handling platform in UAE, thermal screening in the USA, as well as the network-wide rollout of a turnaround tool and IATA’s innovative Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG Autocheck) solution.
A trusted partner of over 300 airline customers, dnata provides quality and safe ground handling, cargo, catering and travel services in 35 countries.
In the financial year 2020-21 dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled 290,000 aircraft, moved 2.7 million tonnes of cargo, and uplifted some 17 million meals.