Gliding to export success

Barcode scanning developed in Auckland is ensuring our baggage doesn't get lost at the airport and is handled quickly.

Barcode scanning developed in Auckland is ensuring our baggage doesn’t get lost at the airport and is handled quickly.

Glen Eden-based Glidepath, which employs 70 staff, produces computerised baggage and cargo handling systems and is enjoying export success in Australasia and further afield.

This year, the 19-year-old firm, which has handled more than 300 projects across 30 countries, expects to double turnover, 95% of which is exports, to $37.5 million, with major projects under way in Vancouver and Chile.

In February it completed the first stage of a $US10 million contract installing a computerised baggage handling system in Santiago. The system offers 100% baggage screening, and can process 6000 bags an hour at 109 check-ins. Similar upgrades are also under way in Vancouver for completion in June, where Glidepath has also opened a new division, adding to its new Chile offshoot.

The GlideSort and GlideView systems were developed using Microsoft Visual C, and run on Windows NT. The firm has a software team of eight, rising to 12 with contractors at peak times.

Marketing manager Natalie McDonald says Glidepath has completed five automatic baggage handling systems in the last five years. The most recent of these, at Ansett Sydney Domestic Terminal, can sort out “a record” 99.5% of bags and ensure they reach the correct destination without the need for manual intervention.

“This sorter rate has been achieved by combining tracking from check-in with barcode scanning,” she says.

In New Zealand, Glidepath claims to have installed systems at all our airports, most recently completing stage one of a project at Queenstown Airport in January, with stage two due this year.

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