iStock_000006261768XSmallImage identification technology developed by HTS in Israel may solve the problem of scanning air cargo before it is loaded to the plane. Air Cargo is an essential and crucial element of the global economy. Materials and goods transported by air are generally time sensitive and relatively high value shipments. They account for about a third of international trade.

The explosives identified on cargo airplanes from Yemen to Chicago reinforce the necessity of implementing ULD Identification, screening and tracking regulation for Air Cargo. The air cargo system is vulnerable to several security threats including: potential plots to place explosives aboard aircraft, illegal shipments of hazardous materials, criminal activities such as smuggling and theft, and potential hijackings and sabotage by persons with access to aircraft.

Currently available technologies mainly geared towards baggage and loose cargo screening. Methods and technologies for Cargo inspection are improving but at a slower rate than passenger baggage inspection.


Air cargo is transported in bulks in ULDs (Unit Loading Devices) but management, tracking and scanning of ULD fleets is problematic due to inefficiency and lack of real-time intelligence. A system that incorporates radiation scanning, X-Ray, automatic identification and recording of the ULD meets this challenge.

A system combining the required technologies was developed and implemented at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam by L3, incorporating HTS technology, and has been successfully operational. Each ULD is identified with a unique code, using a systematic scheme from the International Air Transport Association the (IATA).
There are challenges in reading many of these numbers and HTS has developed a new patent pending system which has met the challenge.

The complete and integrated system scans for radiation, X-rays the cargo, reads the ULD container numbers, records them and matches them to a manifest as they pass through the System portal. ULD Portals can be placed at strategic points in the airport in order to monitor all cargo and passenger luggage being loaded onto planes.

Marine cargo is already scanned and tracked in a large number of marine ports worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of cargo containers are identified by HTS’s system.