It’s become well established that the blockchain has an almost infinite range of functional applications outside of pure financial transactions. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) where technology is being used to disrupt a range of traditional industries. One example is cargo freight, an industry traditionally reliant on paperwork.1
With blockchain and bigdata (e.g. by recording activity with more precision and taking quite a bit of third party costs out of the equation), now freight companies can count on the unprecedented ability to monitor shipments of high-value and perishable goods, preventing costly damage and loss. The new solution provides real-time information about the location and condition of critical freight while in transit. Real-time shipment information is critical, for example, when shipping perishables and goods that require uninterrupted refrigeration, such as pharmaceuticals, or high-value equipment that is sensitive to vibration or shock. Logistics service providers and shippers can use the alerts to make real-time decisions that can reduce operational costs, maximize utilization of associated assets, as well as increase service levels to customers.2
The data gathered and communicated en route by smart and connected shipments will help industries not just track goods, but also improve business decisions like rerouting if demand shifts or intercepting a damaged shipment. By analyzing data from thousands of shipments, logistics service providers will be able to predict and avoid routes where damage or delays are likely, establishing a more reliable distribution network. Highly granular data can also assist companies in planning and predicting future operations to proactively avoid problems and greatly improve overall supply chain efficiency.1 While the technology is still in its infancy, the possible future includes not only remote diagnosis but also remote repair of cargo problems or vehicle difficulties etc.2
International trade, similar to the Banking industry today, is still based on hugely inefficient and outdated processes and technologies. To quote “around $17 trillion worth of export and import trade is carried out each year, and according to Shipping Association BIMCO, each one of those shipments requires, on average, 36 original documents, 240 copies and the involvement of 27 entities.” This is not only a waste of time and money but it also directly affects our nature. This is where the Blockchain can be the disruptive force that can help bring international trade and the entire shipment industry up to date to today’s technology standards. Not only can we enable mutually untrusted parties to finally trust each other by having a single source of truth (the Blockchain), but we can also create a Chain of Custody, which will lead to more accountability, less fraud, and faster customs clearance.3 Love Clicks Future (Worldwide) Holding Limited is one such company to be in such an enviable position with its vast involvement in the Freight and logistics business (containers) as well as expertise in the Internet of Things (IOT).
But, as the technology transforms more and more transport assets from dark, dumb and disconnected to visible, smart and connected, the flood of real, hard data that will be created could open up all sorts of innovation. With the digital supply chain just starting to take shape, now is the time to talk about the role and value of smart assets both today and for the future.