How AT&T helps track precious shipments in the belly of a plane

Will it get there safely?

It’s one of a specialty produce manager’s most anxious moments. A freshly harvested order of heirloom produce is being shipped overnight from California. Will it arrive fresh or will it be ruined from unexpected heat or cold in the cargo hold?

Any business transporting expensive, sensitive, time-critical goods faces the same concern. The shipment could be anything from a rare 200-year-old German cuckoo clock to sashimi-grade tuna. Consider this: For every hour that asparagus is exposed to temperatures above 60 degrees, it loses a day of shelf life.1 No matter the cargo, until the product reaches its destination, the shippers will not sleep.

Companies rely on their supply chains to deliver products on time and in good condition. Many companies rely on air cargo when time is of the essence. But once the product enters the cargo hold of a plane or a truck, a shipper lacks the ability to check it.

More than just a tracking number

AT&T created a solution for that puzzle in August 2014, with the launch of Cargo View with FlightSafe®. Special FlightSafe® sensors, included with the shipment, monitor and collect data on the cargo’s location, temperature, pressure changes, shock levels and even detected light, which would signal the cargo was opened while in transit — intentionally or accidentally. All the information collected from the sensors is sent directly to the customer in near-real time.

For perishable goods, Cargo View has the potential to cut down on waste. That’s not only cost-effective, but also better for the environment.

Unlike most tracking devices, Cargo View is safe for aircraft and can be used regardless of transit mode. In fact, while en route, the FlightSafe sensors automatically switch to airplane mode to meet FAA regulations.

From points A to B and in between

From departure to delivery, shippers can track and monitor their sensitive, time-critical cargo with AT&T Cargo View with FlightSafe®. An intelligent sensory monitoring system, FlightSafe can inform them in real time of a shipment’s location and if it has been compromised or possibly damaged during transport.


The FlightSafe sensor is inserted into or attached to a shipment’s packaging. The shipment is loaded and the journey begins.


Once activated, the FlightSafe sensor monitors eight different parameters. As a cloud-based system FlightSafe streams information in near real time allowing customers to access and monitor it through a Web-enabled device.

Airplane Mode

FlightSafe is able to determine when it must cease transmission and enter airplane mode. While in airplane mode FlightSafe continues to monitor the shipment and stores the information for transmission upon landing.

Pressure Monitoring

Recording both gradual and dramatic pressure changes, FlightSafe can inform customers of atmospheric issues that could affect the package.

Shock & Vibration

Whether a constant vibration or an abrupt impact; shock and motion are measured and reported.

Light Sensitivity

The FlightSafe sensor can detect light in the cargo hold or – if inside the packaging – any light that enters the packaging, which could signal possible damage or tampering.


Temperature control and variation can be critical to some sensitive cargo. FlightSafe can inform customers of variations both large and small while the package is in transport.

Motion & Location

At any time, customers can monitor the package’s location and whether it is on the path to its intended destination.


As the plane descends for landing, the FlightSafe sensor will automatically exit airplane mode and begin to transmit past in-flight data and current conditions.


The cargo is unloaded and begins the journey to its final destination, where the FlightSafe sensor can be retrieved and reused.

“Cargo View is a great example of how our global wireless network helps us solve businesses’ problems. When you consider the tens of thousands of shipments moving across land, sea and air every hour, we saw a real need for this service. Whether it’s pharmaceuticals, electronics, sensitive documents, agricultural products or artwork, AT&T now offers our customers a tool to give them a new level of comfort as they track their products domestically or globally.”– Mike Troiano, Vice President, Industrial Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility