Frankfurt Airport launches project to minimise ramp waiting times

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April 05, 2018: Frankfurt Airport has participated in the ‘Smart Air Cargo Trailer’ research project to minimise ramp waiting times and increase utilisation of the trucks. 

Intelligent truck trailers known as ‘smart trailers’ are equipped with complex camera systems that continuously record how full the trailer is. Once a certain loading level has been reached, a control system automatically requests an autonomous truck for transportation. The trucks pick up the trailer and take it to the relevant ramp destination where it is processed by a forwarding agent or cargo handler.

These trailers have been introduced as shipments within Frankfurt Airport’s Cargo Cities are often transported individually. Hence, it puts pressure on the transport system and processing capacity at the ramps. In future, short-distance shipments at CargoCity South are to be managed automatically using a cloud-based platform.  

Felix Kreutel, SVP Cargo at Fraport AG said: “By applying this new system, Frankfurt Airport can provide even faster and more efficient cargo processes. As part of the research project, mixed traffic operations consisting of both autonomous shipments and regular truck and car traffic will be tested for the first time at Frankfurt Airport.”

Other partners in this project include the Fraunhofer Institute, RheinMain University, autonomous vehicle manufacturer KAMAG, cargo handler LUG, shipping companies Sovereign and Dachser, and logistics software company CargoSteps.


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