Airline service trolleys for the digital age

Tech Trolleys create more value through branding, chill-chain control, security and fleet management

Tech Trolleys introduce transformational levels of temperature control and connectivity. They also help reduce food waste and enable fleet management and branding.

Airline service trolleys were introduced in the late 1960s when a new generation of widebody aircraft seating a large number of passengers made service by hand ineffective. In the decades since then, the design of the trolleys has evolved very little but new technologies such as Radio-frequency identification  (RFID) chips are about to change that.  

Responding to a customer need, gategroup has collaborated with technology partner Aerocat to bring a new generation of Tech Trolleys with additional functionalities to the market. The Tech Trolleys create more value through branding, chill-chain control, security and fleet management. The Tech Trolleys are based on standard trolleys from a specialized manufacturer that are then enhanced with new functionalities.

The Tech Trolleys use a cooling technology that cools down the whole trolley or integrates into cooling inserts for fresh food catering. They also contain RFID locks, Track & Trace and sophisticated sensors used for temperature monitoring and logging. This degree of temperature control helps reduce wastage due to the limited shelf-life of fresh food. It also improves food quality and safety as chefs can use fresher, healthier ingredients.

The Tech Trolley’s smart connectivity extends to crew notifications displayed on tablets or smartphones with all data bundled in a central service center. This permits advanced reporting for catering, fleet management and maintenance.

With new commercial technologies and related customer demand finding their way to the cabin, airlines are increasingly adapting for more connectivity, wireless devices onboard, and fewer restrictions for onboard electronics. The Tech Trolleys tie in neatly with this development. A total solution with a tech platform that drives data management is currently being developed and customized for specific airline testing.