Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AirAsia launches blockchain-based air cargo network

Steve Rogerson
April 21, 2020



AirAsia’s Teleport logistics arm has announced Freightchain, a digital air cargo network run on a blockchain.
 
This means a shipper or freight forwarder can now instantly book and confirm any of AirAsia’s 247 aircraft to carry cargo through Freightchain, without the need to go through traditional time-consuming sales or email channels.
 
Freighchain will assist shippers and their freight forwarders to discover all available cargo network connections owned by airlines for their supply chain needs. It then facilitates on-demand bookings in real time through bids submitted and validated on a blockchain.
 
Air cargo is vital in the global fight against Covid-19. Software to bid and confirm urgent air cargo capacity transparently in real time can be vital to keep global supply chains for life-saving medical supplies and equipment moving.
 
“We deliberately launched Freightchain during this period of uncertainty within global supply chains, caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Freightchain chief technology officer Vishal Batra. “Agile software platforms like Freightchain help to connect uneven supply and demand amidst a rapidly evolving environment. Trust and transparency are needed now more than ever.”
 
The first pilot booking on Freightchain was successfully conducted to ship pharmaceutical cargo from Bengaluru, India, to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. An instant itinerary via Kuala Lumpur and Seoul was confirmed in real time with flights from three different carriers through a smart contract on blockchain. 
 
Due to the unavailability of direct flights from Bengaluru to Ulan Bator, the shipper would normally have to enquire manually 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 ten times faster for shippers by programmatically discovering the available routes with connecting flights within the shipper's budget and passing on cost savings to shippers. For the airlines, the dynamic on-demand interlining of flights helped improve otherwise underused flights.
 
Freightchain is a digital network for air cargo run by airlines, born on blockchain. It helps shippers and their freight forwarders programmatically discover all available network connections for their supply chain needs and facilitate on-demand bookings in minutes through bids submitted and validated on blockchain.
 
“We believe the networks of the future are open, collaborative and transparent,” said Batra. “The Freightchain network discovers and promotes underutilised sectors of airlines to offer more choices that suit the budget and requirements of any shipper. Airlines, in turn, are able to quickly generate incremental revenue by listing their available capacity in real time.”