Global sea trade has been trading blind for centuries because once the ship left the port of load with the goods, there was very little visibility on the whereabouts of the ship or the condition of the cargo till it arrived at the destination..
Historically, the shipping and freight industry has been slow to adopt new technologies and standards, unlike its airborne cousin which is highly standardized and regulated internationally..
The advent of containerisation and intermodalism, made ascertaining the whereabouts of a container all the more difficult because containers move to remote locations with relative ease using a combination of rail and road options..
With the exponential increase in the movement of container volumes around the world, it would be impossible to meet all the requirements of the customer using manual processes..
There has been a noticeable acceleration in the digitalisation of the industry in the last decade and this digital evolution is set to shape the future of the industry..
As much as the industry needs to embrace the digital evolution and the competitive advantage it can provide, there are several challenges as well.. It is more than just about getting together the required hardware and software and converting a paper based model to a systems based model..
It requires innovation.. Innovation is not a product but rather a culture that needs the right people following the right methodology using the right tools with the right thinking..
One company that presents innovation as being at the heart of its service offering is Ocean Insights – Innovators in Container Tracking..
Here is my review of Ocean Insights’ container freight visibility platform and what the industry can expect from this platform..
In any sea freight transaction which covers the above processes, there are challenges that BCOs and/or Freight Forwarders face in terms of managing Rates, Bookings, Documents and Visibility..
As per market studies, 25-30% of all freight invoices issued are erroneous and that businesses have been overpaying service providers for years due to incorrect invoices.. In a $350 billion ocean freight market, this accrued revenue loss can be quite significant..
Now Haven Inc, a solutions-focused TMS provider is aiming to simplify the processes for the customers through their easy to use and intuitive app-based TMS platform specifically aimed at international shippers..
The platform is said to have proven successes with some of the largest companies in shipping including Top 5 CPG, and Top 5 US Exporter using it..
The world of shipping involves several commercial, documentary, operational and financial processes..
While there have been many developments in the industry, a lot of the documentary processes in shipping and freight has stayed much the same for many decades..
Delays in document transmissions which could take anywhere between 5-10 days with the added risk of loss or delay of documents have severe consequences such as demurrage, detention and/or port storage, possible loss or cargo damage due to non-clearance and abandoned cargo..
CarogX Platform, a neutral, public blockchain-based platform is offering to provide a solution which will help to digitalize the trade documentation process using BDT (Blockchain Document Transfer) and reduce document transmission time to 20 seconds..!!
I took the platform for a test drive to see how it works and if it can assist the industry in saving costs and making the process of document transfer simpler, easier, economical and more importantly, secure and safer..
Smart Computers, Smart Phones, Smart Cars and now Smart Bill of lading..!!!!
Shipping documentation in its current form has been around for many decades and has been working quite well..
There are several factors that are involved in the preparation, checking, transmission, hand over, payment and many of the intrinsic activities involved in the process of a bill of lading..
When I first heard of the Blockchain based Smart Bill of Lading by CargoX, I was a bit unsure as to how this new technology will replace all of the above as there are several such products trying to break into the shipping and freight industry in the name of innovation, digitisation, IoT, SaaS etc..
So, when CargoX asked me to have a look at how this blockchain based bill of lading system and process actually works, I proceeded to have a look with a tad bit of skepticism..
But before I share the details of my review, experience, impression and opinion, let’s take a quick look at what is a bill of lading, what is a blockchain and how these work together and fit in the process of a shipment..