BUSINESS

Greek-made smart containers

Greek-made smart containers

Greek firm Aerospace Management & Support (AMS) has been selected by the committee running the European Union’s Clean Sky for the development of new-generation air cargo containers aimed at reducing weight and therefore carbon emissions during flights, and at the transition of air cargo to the digital era.

The Greek company is already in talks with Airbus for the latter to adopt the container model AMS has developed and has been chosen among dozens of other candidates from across Europe as the main element for this service by the French aerospace giant.

The Greek-designed “smart” container promises to save at least 200 kilograms per unit. It is constructed using special lightweight materials and incorporates functions for the securing, autonomous mobility, fire-smoke detection and containment, as well as wireless tracking and communication capacity.

Considering there are currently some 700 million such containers around the world, one can grasp the significance and potential profit the selection of this Greek company may entail. Most of the existing containers do not have the capacity for remote online tracking by the owning carrier, as they are exchanged at airports around the planet, creating a rather chaotic situation.

The existing containers are typically made of aluminium and air passengers can see them from their aircraft windows being loaded. Some of them contain luggage, others various supply products and others include cargo. Slightly bigger containers are used for cargo flights, and they can easily be replaced by the Greek model.

AMS is based at the old offices of German company Hochtief at Athens Airport. Its head and main shareholder is Ilias Kokkotas, who is also the leader and coordinator of the intelligent lightweight aircraft cargo container, or “Intellicont” as those smart containers go by.

Also participating in the 4-million-euro project are Avionics Greece, the University of Patras, the National Technical University of Athens, Prisma Electronics Hellas, and various international entities, such as the University of Manchester and Spanish firm Acciona Construccion, which is expected to participate in the mass production of the new containers.