Blockchain technology to improve efficiency and transparency in air cargo industry

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dnata, Emirates Innovation Lab, flydubai Cargo and IBM have completed a proof of concept (PoC) using blockchain technology for air cargo in Dubai.

They says this has added value by eliminating redundant data and improve visibility and transparency and as a result, processes can been more streamlined and simplified right from the origin to the final destination.

Dnata’s UAE cargo operations vice president commercial and business development, Kevin Ennis says, “dnata has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the success of our study to use blockchain technology in our operations means greater security, efficiency and cost savings to our customers.

“We are on the cusp of revolutionizing the way we operate, and the success of this initiative with our partners will give the industry a real boost towards seamless service delivery. ”

Blockchain technology is a secure, public electronic ledger and peer-to-peer network that can be managed autonomously to exchange information between different parties.

In cargo much of the processes are traditionally paper based, which requires multiple sign-offs by inspectors and receivers before goods can be delivered. Even when the system is electronic, it still requires multiple parties to sign off on cargo shipments, creating a lengthy administrative process.

Flydubai Cargo and dnata, in collaboration with Emirates Innovation Lab and IBM jointly developed a logistics platform in which blockchain infrastructure was implemented for supply chain transactions from a purchase order from the origin to delivery to the Consignee warehouse at its destination.

All the partners were able to identify issues from various perspectives such as technology, security, operation, legal perspectives, to develop new supply chain services including digitalisation of documents.

Emirates Group senior vice president for IT strategic services, Neetan Chopra says, “Blockchain technology has great potential to exponentially improve efficiency and transparency of business networks, especially in Cargo & Logistic flows. However neither the technology nor the potential is easy to understand or appreciate.

“Hence it is imperative to carry out such business experiments and trials so that participants can experience the benefits of breakthrough technologies in a live environment.”

Data says blockchain technology for its cargo operations is a very secure way to share information between parties. It creates a permanent, digital public ledger of transactions, which can be shared amongst a distributed network of computers.

The sharing possibilities of this technology create endless 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.

Flydubai Cargo vice president, Mohamed Hassan says: “Blockchain technology is able to transform sectors far beyond financial services. It improves the way we work together in providing reliable and convenient airfreight as it provides end-to-end services.”