dnata tests successfully blockchain technology with air cargo partners

23 / 11 / 2017

Ground handler dnata has introduced blockchain technology into its cargo operations, in conjunction with Emirates Innovation Lab, IBM and flydubai Cargo.

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

Kevin Ennis, vice president commercial and business development for dnata’s UAE cargo operations, said: “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 revolutionising the way we operate, and the success of this initiative with our partners will give the industry a real boost towards seamless service delivery.”

A company spokesperson said that airfreight’s traditionally paper-based processes require 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. To try and streamline this process, blockchain technology can be used to manage and track the paper trail of cargo containers by digitizing the supply chain.”

It added: “In such a scenario, what makes blockchain infallible is that, no one party can modify, delete or even edit any one of the blocks without the consensus from others on the network.”

Flydubai Cargo and dnata, in collaboration with Emirates Innovation Lab and IBM, developed jointly 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.

Through PoC (Proof of Concept), flydubai Cargo, Emirates Innovation Lab and dnata were able to identify issues from various perspectives such as technology, security, operation, legal perspectives, and were able to realise new supply chain services including digitalisation of documents.

Neetan Chopra, senior vice president-IT strategic services, Emirates Group, said: “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.”

He added: “The Innovation Lab will now work with our partners and stakeholders to prepare the scale out plan of this innovation to the larger cargo ecosystem."

Blockchain technology creates “endless opportunities” for logistics/supply chain applications said dnata, including improvements of transparency and data sharing across the supply chain, better tracking of orders, reducing errors and better fraud detection.

Mohamed Hassan, vice president of flydubai Cargo, said: “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.”

Picture caption 

(L-R) Sathish Jeyakumar – Principal Architect at the Emirates Innovation Lab, Srividhya Rangarajan - Process and Governance Manager at the Emirates Innovation Lab, Kevin Ennis - Vice President, Corporate & Business Development at dnata Cargo, Mohamed Hassan, Vice President of flydubai Cargo, Sam Chacko, Manager - Cargo Operations, flydubai Cargo, Shaju T. Chacko, Manager, Cargo Revenue Optimisation, flydubai Cargo, Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan

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