DECEMBER 3, 2012 NEWS & ANALYSIS LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL 11
LOGISTICS: GTX makes case for using product to trace luggage location.
New GPS tracking devices made by downtown L.A. company GTX Corp. can be turned off remotely and turn themselves back on based on how high they are or how fast they're moving. That means they can be packed with cargo in the belly of a plane, be put into sleep mode before takeoff and automatically wake up upon landing. Local logistics company MNX plans to use the devices to track transplant organs and other sensitive cargo shipped through the air, giving hospitals and labs the ability to know when their shipments have landed and when they should arrive.
''They can tell the hospital that the shipment is corning, that it's a block away," said Patrick Bertagna, chief executive of GTX. Scott Cannon, chief executive of Inglewood's MNX, already uses similar tracking devices from another company, but he said GTX's trackers are sturdier, more compact and were designed specifically for MNX.
"It offers an affordable solution to our clients' needs," Cannon said. "Shipments can be monitored and tracked in real time, at all times." For now, GTX's trackers are only approved by two airlines, cargo carriers CargoLux Airlines International SA of Sand weiler, Luxembourg, and AirNet of Columbus, Ohio, but Bertagna said the company will seek approval from others.
GTX's biggest market is in tracking devices for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's who might wander off. It partners with a company that makes shoes with embedded GPS trackers.
But approval from airlines could help GTX get into the luggage business.
''About 8 million pieces of luggage every year get lost," Bertagna said. "With this, you could go online and find out your baggage is in whatever city. Then the airline can call that airport and say, 'Ship that to New York on the next flight.'