05 March 2018

Blockchain Enhances Freight Wagon Tracking Sensor Performance to Protect Logistics Assets  

Technology Specialist Wares Can Assess Performance and Publish Legally Binding Data

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Shipping News Feature SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Headquartered in Zurich, technology company Nexiot last year signed a deal with VTG Aktiengesellschaft (VTG AG) to equip the rail operator's entire European fleet with its sensors to enable the tracking of the movement of each and every one of the Hamburg headquartered 80,000 or so rail freight wagons. The tracking of logistics assets is becoming more sophisticated enabling ever more information to be collected and assimilated.

Now the company, an offshoot of technical university ETH Zürich and built on a decade of research into relevant algorithms, has launched an integration with a Blockchain type Distributed Ledger as part of its Digital Logistics Platform. Nexiot’s self-sustaining sensors send messages every five minutes from assets such as rail wagons, shipping containers, and boxes, including updates on location, impact events, border crossing, and mileage.

Nexiot’s smart sensors processed over 100 million data points in January 2018 alone and now, enhanced with Blockchain technology, the data, securely held in the new Digital Ledger, includes a date and time stamp, making the information legally binding and adding a valuable layer of accountability to the journey of an asset and its goods. The Ledger can also automate payment fulfilment, proof of service delivery, and proof of third party service quality. Daniel MacGregor, Director Marketing and Sales, Nexiot, said:

“The Distributed Ledger brings transparency, trust, and legal compliance to our Management Solution, as the data records are legally binding. This Blockchain technology also opens the door to the introduction of Smart Digital Contracts. Our sensors have already established a new level of accuracy for contract stipulations of location and location-based events.

“Now with the Distributed Ledger, these can be linked to confirm terms and fulfilment of contracts, and it is possible to digitise contract execution, from automated demurrage and insurance claims, to excess mileage recharges. Our unique combination of zero maintenance hardware, with mobile app support, digital documents on board, and the enriched data capabilities of a flexible, robust management platform provides the base to add these Distributed Ledger capabilities.

“By 2019, it is estimated that 20% of all IoT deployments will have basic levels of Blockchain services and this development promises to deliver a long overdue layer of services to enhance quality in logistics. The technology builds trust by preventing manipulation of records of historical events, reduces costs, information silos, overheads, and unnecessary middlemen, and accelerates transaction executions to near real time instead of days and weeks.”

Photo: Nexiot multimodal sensors have been fitted to the entire VTG Euopean fleet.

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