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Asia Airfreight Terminal is the First Cargo Terminal Operator in Hong Kong to Deploy Autonomous Electric Tractor

Hong Kong, 10 April, 2024 - Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT), a subsidiary of SATS Ltd, has made significant strides in cargo handling with the introduction of Autonomous Electric Tractors (AET) at its terminal in Hong Kong.  This innovative move positions AAT as the pioneer cargo terminal operator in Hong Kong to deploy AETs, revolutionizing cargo handling processes and enhancing overall efficiency.

"Our commitment to efficiency and sustainability remains unwavering. Thanks to the team’s rigorous testing, training and trials conducted over the past eighteen months, we have successfully deployed AETs in our cargo terminals operations, enabling cargo and ULDs towing through various routes and across different levels of the terminal." said Mr. Mike Chew, CEO of AAT. ""By utilizing electric-powered AETs, we are not only reducing carbon footprint but also ensuring resilience and the quality of service we provide to our customers."

Operational resilience is important in the fast-paced world of air cargo logistics, especially during peak seasons and manpower shortage currently faced by the industry. AETs offer uninterrupted service for extended hours, providing reliable support and maintaining operational efficiency. They are also capable of navigating adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog, ensuring operations continuity. In addition, the AETs' seamless transition between manual and autonomous modes allows for high operational flexibility within dynamic work environments. By assigning iterative tasks to AETs, we also enhance manpower efficiency and improve service quality.

AAT's vision revolves around sustainability. With a range of up to 90km per charge, AETs significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by up to 35% compared to conventional diesel tractors, propelling us towards a greener future by minimizing our environmental impact.

Ensuring safety is the top priority, each AET is equipped with an extensive range of features ensuring safety. These include a robust set of nine high-definition cameras and three lidar sensors for efficient navigation. The integration of advanced three-dimensional mapping system and dGPS technology enable the AETs to effectively maneuver through obstacles and follow designated routes throughout the multi-level warehouse. The advanced braking system could also immediately bring the AETs to a halt when obstacles are detected within 10 meters to safeguard the traffic safety at workplace.   

AAT had the privilege of presenting our industry peers and media representative with a firsthand demonstration of our AETs in action during the exclusive tours during the IATA World Cargo Symposium 2024, the latest addition to our operation were warmly received and impressed our guests. Their enthusiasm for our innovative move further validates our position as a frontrunner in the industry.

AAT plans to expand the fleet progressively in subsequent years while further exploring additional automation features to accommodate various operational needs.

Mr. Mike Chew, CEO of Asia Airfreight Terminal, stands next to an AET and shares his vision for an efficient and eco-friendly future.

 AAT hosted industry peers and media representatives for an exclusive tour during the IATA World Cargo Symposium 2024 in March with the firsthand demonstration of the AETs in action.

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Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT) Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of SATS Ltd and affiliate of Eastern Option Ltd, is an air cargo terminal based at Hong Kong International Airport, the world’s largest international air cargo hub. Operating on a franchise awarded by the Airport Authority Hong Kong since 1998, AAT serves the world's leading airlines, offering a comprehensive range of services from physical cargo handling to documentation processing, to the highest standards of quality, safety and security. To ensure our customers experience the highest levels of service from AAT, our people are skilled cargo professionals committed to operational excellence, harnessing technology
and innovation to achieve cost competitiveness and efficiency.

AAT also features state-of-the-art facilities such as the environmentally sustainable AAT COOLPORT facility <Press Release> that is fully certified with IATA CEIV Pharma, IATA CEIV Fresh, and WHO GDP Pharma accreditations. For more information, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn.



SATS Ltd. (SATS) is a global leader in gateway services and Asia's pre-eminent provider of food solutions. Using innovative food technologies and resilient supply chains, we create tasty, quality food in sustainable ways for airlines, foodservice chains, retailers, and institutions. With heartfelt service and advanced technology, we connect people, businesses, and communities seamlessly through our comprehensive gateway services for customers such as airlines, cruise lines, freight forwarders, postal services and eCommerce companies.

Fulfilling our purpose to feed and connect communities, SATS delights customers in over 210 locations and 27 countries across the Asia Pacific, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. SATS has been listed on the Singapore Exchange since May 2000. For more information, please visit



Becky Woo

Marketing Communication

Phone: +852 2949 7738



Cynthia Yen-Sullivan

AVP, Corporate Communications