Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CITRIMACC Report Summary

Project ID: 666432

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CITRIMACC (Circulation Pilot with Continuous Control of Multi-Modal Air Cargo Containers)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In the wake of September 11th and following increased emphasis on passenger air travel security, the air cargo system has become a potential target for terrorists. European countries have undertaken various regulatory approaches that involve technology and operational measures aimed at addressing the perceived security threats in the air cargo industry. Air cargo transportation system is designed to provide fast and efficient shipment of goods, two features that make it highly vulnerable to potential security threats. The main objective of the project is to implement and validate in real-life environments a system that addresses these security risks and is aligned with the time and cost realities of the air cargo industry.

The project concept is to develop a smart and secure inter-modal cargo container, sufficiently light to not adversely affect air transport costs, but sufficiently robust to allow mechanical handling and be used by road/rail transport. The container together with an information exchange platform will allow business to business transportation of goods, reduce handling of actual goods, eliminate tampering risks, lessen cargo processing time, reduce time of security screening.
These features are achieved by combining a collapsible, light weight container, made of advanced composite materials, with a mechanical high-end locking system. The lock system features a secure PIN-code lock operated remotely through encrypted communication channels, electronic shipping documents (e-freight), secure redundant server based tracking and monitoring, 24/7 fully redundant communication systems based on multiple technologies technology for continuous real-time visibility. The Lockbar contains technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and GRPS.=

The consortium assembles research performing SMEs with unique and complementary expertise, who will produce 200+ Cargoboxes with 200+ Lockbars, monitoring and communication capability, the server based tracking system and depot infrastructure sets, obtain the relevant approvals from FAA/EASA, and deploy the solution with the pilot participants. Through these pilot participants the Cargoboxes will be shipped through five closed loop transport lanes around the globe. The project will contain the selection of participants in the entire value chain (shippers, logistics services providers (LSP’s), handling agents, airlines, customs, forwarders and consignees), and select several diverse multi-modal transport lanes to execute the pilot. On the basis of these five lanes, the Cargoboxes will be tested and data will be collected, resulting in project results composed by an independent auditor.

The project results, as compared with the current packaging, transport and security management methods, will be widely disseminated via industry associations such as IATA, TSA and TIACA. A full industrialization and commercialization plan will be developed in the course of the project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the first stage of the project, the focus is on improving the existing Container and associated information system, building relationships in business community, and finding pilot participants to trial the system.
The initial design improvement task has proved to be unexpected complex. What was anticipated as a simple set of modifications has turned into a re-appraisal of the entire design. The design of the lock system, being an integral part of the box design was similarly affected. A formal specification and design process has been put in place.
Design work is now complete and the production schedule is underway, The Cargosyst information system awaiting full test and roll-out when sufficient physical boxes are available.
The formal design process has also provided the necessary test and acceptance criteria to underpin the production process.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Feedback from our network of business contacts with specific regard to the need in the air cargo sector for innovation of this type has identified complimentary aspects of the potential impact of the CITRIMACC proposal.
Broadly speaking the focus involves security and terrorism, but also to be considered is world trade and the fact that nations such as those in Europe are particularly reliant on trade in high value, high profit goods.
Air freight is a crucial component of world trade of high value goods, comprising 35% by value of all goods transported worldwide (by volume or weight less than 1%).

Security improvements in air cargo operations remains the key focus of the project. The concept however could be considered as a disruptive technology in air cargo operations providing new ways to increase efficiency and reduce airfreight costs.
The commercial potential of the concept is perhaps far greater than we as as the instigators of the project considered possible in the planning stages. We feel future consultation and planning should take full account of both security and the potentials regarding cost saving.

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