SITA and ULD CARE Plan to Use Blockchain to Track and Record ULD Route
SITA and trade association ULD Care hopes to bring increased efficiency to the air cargo industry by investigating the application of blockchain to digitally track and record the change of custody of airline cargo containers or ULDs (Unit Load Devices) over their journey.
By eradicating inefficiency, installing always-on tracking of ULDs, and abandoning excess paper systems, the usage of blockchain is supposed to preserve the industry $400m a year in developed efficiency, fewer losses, and restriction of damage.
The proposed platform also allows a broad range of authentication and trust-based profits, decreasing the risk of cybercrime, tampering, fraud, trade-based money laundering, and illicit trade.
Bob Rogers, vice president, and treasurer, ULD Care, stated, “Air cargo represents only 1% of all global trade in terms of volume but accounts for 35 percent of the total trade value, and the inefficiency is significant. A container traveling from Shanghai to Long Beach could take up to 30 days to finish its journey, but the true travel time on sea or road is only around 15 days, with the remaining time spent on back-office and paperwork. The use of blockchain could revolutionize that process.”
Now more than 800 million ULDs are in the application by airlines. Yet, the system utilized to follow these ULDs has only been partially digitalized and depends on inadequate information sharing and record keeping.
The recommended blockchain system develops efficiency by making usage of all data points over the air cargo journey. It provides a platform that aggregates and prepares the ULD data in a secure and trusted way.
The PoC will enlarge and update the current ULD interlining platform to incorporate non-airline third parties like ground handlers through open APIs and a new modern interface.
The outcomes will change the industry by lifting the curtain on a myriad of earlier unknown factors like damage reports.
Understanding the location of all ULD’s at all times suggests companies can precisely track where loss or damage transpires and recover the costs without hassle.
For any shipment, there can be up to twelve custodian companies tracking and monitoring the cargo, with many depending on paper documents making the process cumbersome and undermined by transparency and trust problems. Blockchain offers a near-perfect solution to discuss these industry pain points with considerable time and cost-saving potential.
Matthys Serfontein, president of Air Travel Solutions for SITA, stated:
“We are looking at blockchain very closely, and we’re excited to test the potential of the technology to transform the air cargo industry. Beyond cargo and across the air transport industry, we see huge potential for blockchain to address common challenges. The biggest obstacles standing in the way of a seamless passenger journey and truly efficient air travel are the siloed processes across the many stakeholders, including airlines, airports, ground handlers, and control authorities. They act as significant speed bumps at every step of the way.”
This project constitutes part of SITA’s Global Blockchain Alliance, which is driving investigation into blockchain’s potential for the air transport industry. SITA’s role, as the air transport community’s IT provider, is to implement governance for the global alliance, support the working groups, deliver all needed blockchain technology components and assure proper alignment and validation with regulators and international standardization bodies.