IBM and AOS, – a Colombian company specializing in providing business solutions- announced this week they are collaborating to create a solution to enhance efficiency in the logistics and transport industry throughout the country, built on IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT on the IBM Cloud.
Traditionally, supply chain transactions are completed manually, creating delays and a higher risk for recording error, which can cause differences between what was recorded and what was actually loaded. By digitizing this process using blockchain and IoT, the relevant information is captured directly from the sensors placed on the trucks, and entered onto the blockchain, creating a single, shared repository that all authorized participants can access and which can only be altered with consensus from all parties.
Blockchain works as an immutable ledger that records transactions between members of a business network. In the supply chain, this creates visibility for all permissioned members into the exchange of information throughout the transport cycle, enabling greater transparency in the registration of data and trades.
With the solution, once the truck leaves the distribution point, an automatic message is sent to the customer, informing them about the load, weight and estimated time of arrival. If part of the delivery is returned, the invoicing can be automated depending on the actual load delivered.
Also, through the sensors located on the trucks, an information repository is generated using IoT and blockchain, which tracks all the exchanges, stops and transactions made by each truck and its respective load, from the distribution point to the final customer. This heightened level of transparency can help increase accountability between shippers and their customers, promoting the flow of business.
For AOS, this is project is of of great relevance for the entire logistics industry in the country.
“The proper handling and use of information on transactions and exchanges related to cargoes is key to the logistics and transportation industry. Therefore, our main objective with this solution is to provide transparency and security throughout the transport cycle”, said Ricardo Buitrago, Director of Innovation at AOS. “Today, the solution is available as a functional prototype on the IBM Cloud, for companies in the logistics, supply chain and transportation sectors throughout Colombia,” added Buitrago.
The solution also integrates Watson IoT, designed to monitor what is happening with the trucks. For example, the solution captures the input and output weight to define available capacity as well as in which silo and which person will carry the load; and that data is also correlated to external information, such as weather, humidity, temperature and driver’s data, to estimate delivery time to customers.
“One of the biggest challenges in the logistics and transportation industry is the protection of its assets and cargoes, as the correct monitoring and tracking of all transactions involving such charges. That is why the implementation of this type of blockchain and IoT solution in the cloud is an opportunity to access critical data on-demand and make more informed decisions for the benefit of business,” said Jorge Vergara, IBM Colombia CTO.
In the future, the solution is expected to include new functionality such as an electronic seal mechanism for land cargoes control and monitoring.