Monday, May 20, 2024
Asia Airfreight Terminal launches autonomous electric tractor

Asia Airfreight Terminal launches autonomous electric tractor

Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT), a subsidiary of SATS Ltd, has made significant strides in cargo handling by introducing Autonomous Electric Tractors (AET) at its terminal in Hong Kong.

This innovative move positions AAT as the pioneer cargo terminal operator in Hong Kong to deploy AETs, revolutionizing cargo handling processes and enhancing overall efficiency.

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“Our commitment to efficiency and sustainability remains unwavering  Thanks to the team’s rigorous testing, training and trials conducted over the past eighteen months, we have successfully deployed AETs in our cargo terminals operations, enabling cargo and ULDs to tow through various routes and across different levels of the terminal,” said Mr Mike Chew, CEO of AAT  “By using electric-powered AETs, we are not only reducing our carbon footprint but also ensuring resilience and the quality of service we provide to our customers.”

Operational resilience is essential in the fast-paced world of air cargo logistics, especially during peak seasons and workforce shortages currently faced by the industry. AETs offer uninterrupted service for extended hours, providing reliable support and maintaining operational efficiency.

They can also navigate adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog, ensuring operations continuity. In addition, the seamless transition between manual and autonomous modes of AETs allows for high operational flexibility within dynamic work environments. By assigning iterative tasks to AETs, we also enhance workforce efficiency and improve service quality.

AAT’s vision revolves around sustainability. With a range of up to 90km per charge, AETs significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by up to 35% compared to conventional diesel tractors, propelling us towards a greener future by minimizing our environmental impact.

Ensuring safety is the top priority, each AET is equipped with an extensive range of features ensuring safety. These include a robust set of nine high-definition cameras and three lidar sensors for efficient navigation. The integration of advanced three-dimensional mapping system and dGPS technology enable the AETs to effectively maneuver through obstacles and follow designated routes throughout the multi-level warehouse. The advanced braking system could also immediately bring the AETs to a halt when obstacles are detected within 10 meters to safeguard the traffic safety at workplace.

AAT had the privilege of presenting our industry peers and media representative with a firsthand demonstration of our AETs in action during the exclusive tours during the IATA World Cargo Symposium 2024, the latest addition to our operation were warmly received and impressed our guests. Their enthusiasm for our innovative move further validates our position as a frontrunner in the industry.

AAT plans to expand the fleet progressively in subsequent years while further exploring additional automation features to accommodate various operational needs.

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Picture of Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek started her journalism career in 2016 at Ukrainian TV-Channels: 24 Channel and 1+1 Media. Having worked across a number of different sectors, including news, medicine and lifestyle, she joined the Air Cargo Week editorial team in 2024. To share your news and exclusive insights, contact Anastasiya.Simsek@AirCargoWeek.com

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