Market overview

Blockchain has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and transparency of business networks, especially in cargo & logistic flows.

However, neither the technology nor its potential is easy to understand or appreciate.

The problem

Airfreight systems require multiple sign-offs, thereby creating lengthy administrative processes that need to be streamlined and simplified from the origin through to the final destination.

In addition, redundant data should be eliminated and visibility and transparency improved for all stakeholders, says Bob Emmerson.

The players

dnata, one of the world’s largest air services companies, provides ground handling, cargo, travel, and flight catering services in 84 countries. Together with the Emirates Innovation Lab, IBM Middle East & Pakistan and flydubai Cargo the company has created and tested a new value proposition for cargo service delivery employing Blockchain technology.

The solution

The technology was employed to manage and track the paper trail of cargo containers by digitising the supply chain. The all-important key functionality is the fact that no one party can modify, delete or even edit any one of the steps without the consensus from the others.

The solution is based on the creation of a secure, permanent, digital public electronic ledger of transactions that can be shared amongst a distributed network of computers. The sharing possibilities of Blockchain technology enable the creation of numerous opportunities for logistics/supply chain applications.

These include improvements of transparency and data sharing across the supply chain, better tracking of orders, reducing errors and better fraud detection.

Following the completion of a proof of concept trial dnata could identify issues from technology, security, operation, and legal perspectives.

Business benefits

  • Transparency within supply chains
  • Immutable information that can be available to all participants
  • More efficiency in maintaining records
  • Organised data for auditors and regulators

    Bob Emmerson

  • Administrative record keeping errors reduced or eliminated
  • Paperwork processing reduced or eliminated

The author of this blog is Bob Emmerson, freelance IoT writer and commentator

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