Low-cost airline Air Asia’s logistics department launches a blockchain-based cargo booking system, that is expected to drastically improve operational efficiency in air-cargo.
According to a recent announcement made by Air Asia, the airline company’s logistics division Teleport has launched a blockchain-based cargo booking system called Freightchain. Air Asia claims that Freightchain is the world’s first digital air cargo network powered by blockchain.
This latest development will enable shippers or freight forwarders to book cargo-carrying services in any of Air Asia’s 247 flights.
The announcement further stated, “Especially during this unprecedented period, air cargo is vital in the global fight against COVID-19. A software to transparently bid and confirm urgent air cargo capacity in real-time is vital to keep global supply chains for life-saving medical supplies and equipment moving.”
— AirAsia (@AirAsia) April 16, 2020
How does Freightchain Work?
Through the Freightchain network, shippers will be able to book cargo flights, and the same would be confirmed through a blockchain smart contract. In the case of a traditional booking system, they would be required to manually inquire about the availability of cargo flights.
Moreover, if the origin location and destination location are not connected by direct flights, then shippers would also be required to contact and co-ordinate with multiple agents. However, Freightchain automates all of these via a blockchain-based system, thus enhancing efficiency while mitigating the hassle that shippers usually go through.
Teleport has already tested the Freightchain network by shipping pharmaceutical cargo from Bengaluru, India to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. There are no direct flights between these two places, and apparently, Freightchain booking and confirmation eases up the process in such cases.
Freightchain CTO Vishal Batra commented, “Due to the unavailability of direct flights from Bengaluru to Ulan Bator, the shipper had to manually enquire about the availability of connecting flights with multiple airlines and agents over phone calls and emails, a very tedious and time-consuming process. Freightchain simplified the booking process and confirmed the itinerary 10 times faster for shippers by programmatically discovering the available routes with connecting flights within the shipper’s budget and passing on significant cost savings to shippers.”
Blockchain in the Logistics Industry
Blockchain adoption in the logistics and shipping industry has grown tremendously over the last year or so. Recently, e-commerce giant Alibaba integrated a traceability blockchain system to its import e-commerce platform, Koala.
The World Economic Forum’s recent statement about blockchain being the potential simplifier in supply chain processes is expected to drive further adoption in this sector.