If there was one obvious theme of the second demo period at FreightWaves’ Transparency18 event on Tuesday, it was blockchain. Six of the nine presenters in the session demonstrated solutions that involved blockchain technology. From Vnomics’ fuel modeling program to TriumphPay’s shared ledger platform, the 7-minute long, quick-hitting demonstrations held the audience’s attention during the 1-hour, 15-minute session.
Presenting companies in the block included Vnomics, TriumphPay, PEIR, Redwood Logistics, Authenticiti, Orbcomm, FreightWaves Sonar, Fr8 Network, and Riskpulse. FreightWaves’ Michael Vincent and Ben Murphy demonstrated the company’s new Sonar data platform. You can read more about that innovative solution here: FreightWaves launches Sonar data platform.
The morning session kicked with Vnomics showing its fuel management platform, which involves using tokens on the Ethereum network to coordinate pay for drivers.
With over 23,000 drivers in its network, Vnomics built a fuel modeling platform that rewards drivers for saving fuel. The Vnomics system records a driver’s actual mpg and their potential mpg along a route, providing an efficiency score. The model will identify how much fuel is used and how much was projected to be used on a trip-by-trip basis. It then will identify a cause for the fuel waste, such as speeding, for instance.
Now, with a Vnomics Fuel Token, drivers can be rewarded for saving gallons of fuel. One token equals a one gallon of fuel, so for each gallon saved, a token will be transferred on a blockchain to the driver. The driver can then exchange tokens for cash, but because the token is in the driver’s wallet, he can see how much is being earned with each trip.
TriumphPay followed Vnomics to the stage, showcasing a payment platform that it believes could change the industry.
“We believe [blockchain] should be used to improve on system integration on existing APIs,” said Jordan Graft, EVP of payment solutions.
Triumph’s demonstration utilized a spot load and tracked it through blockchain to end payment. Built to work on any TMS system, the blockchain collects data from the original tender, any accessorials that need to be added, and the delivery, and once approved executes the specifics of the contract, including giving the driver/fleet the ability to choose QuickPay. All that information is loaded on to the blockchain ledger in a standardized format that speeds the entire process, including payment.
“We have the ability to fundamentally change the payments industry,” Graft said. “We waste hundreds of billons of dollars doing this manually.”
PEIR is an interesting company that has taken a simple process – image documentation – and incorporated it into a blockchain to provide irrefutable proof of a container’s condition during its journey.
PEIR – which stands for Photo Equipment Interchange Receipt – utilizes a simple app and smartphone camera to allow a driver or anyone involved in the process of moving containers to snap pictures of the condition during an inspection period upon arrival or just before departure or any other time that is warranted.
That image is then entered into a blockchain through the mobile app, which records and documents the condition of the container. According to the company, the blockchain records the condition, the time and location. The platform, available for both web and mobile, is written on top of existing APIs and can integrate with TMS systems.
Users can also drill down through the dashboard to get more detailed information on any event.
Redwood Logistics describes itself as a brokerage, 3PL and 4PL that provides data-driven supply chain solutions. During its Demo Day slot, Redwood’s Eric Rempel showed what he said was a Business to Blockchain (B2BC) platform. The Redwood Connect Blockchain is a distributed, secure, searchable database that collects objects such as ELD and other data points, gives them a hash and adds them to a blockchain.
The company said the blockchain uses a public key for the nodes, allowing the data to be entered, but offers the owners of the data a private key so they maintain control of their data and who sees it. Offering transparency, governance and scale at a controllable cost, the Redwood Connect Blockchain serves as a middleware solution for shippers and app developers to connect without building out their own infrastructure.
Authenticiti founder Andrew Yang walked the Demo Day audience through a sample of how his blockchain framework allows companies to focus on developing products and not on building blockchain infrastructure.
Using GE Aviation as an example, Yang showed how a transaction is published onto the blockchain network using a hash to start the process, in this case Yang was showing how a product could be delivered and the associated purchase order could be transferred to a financial institution for payment. Once a purchase order is received, GE Aviation then could transfer the PO with supporting documents that are added to the transaction, to the financial institution. It could also share information related to the transaction with the customer, who could only see the information allowed through the hash. Both the customer and financial institution could see different details of the same transaction.
Orbcomm is one of the largest service provides in the world with over 2 million subscribers to its tracking solutions, including 1.2 million in transportation. Orbcomm holds 70% market share of the refrigerated telematics industry, it claims.
The company recently moved into a new arena with in-cab telematics offerings, including its new fleet management platform. The platform offers 4 modules – dispatch, HOS, vehicle exceptions and reporting, and temperature. Each module collects dozens of data points and organizes that information into useful data for managers.
Some of that data might include trailer temperature, doors open and close, driver detention time, driving hours, vehicle reports that incorporate DVIR information, fuel compliance, idle time and even the time it takes a driver to shift his foot from the gas pedal to the brake.
All the data is exportable and feeds through APIs and the system meets all ELD requirements.
FR8 Network has been working on a protocol for standards for using blockchain and demonstrated its first development in that area.
Developed using an Ethereum smart contract, the product integrates with Salesforce to usher a purchase through to final payment of the driver. In the solution, an order begins as soon as a customer hits purchase in online checkout. That generates a purchase order delivered to Salesforce and a shipping order, both entered into the blockchain. The shipping order begins a smart contract that, upon entering basic information through an add-on pop up, begins the shipping process.
Along the way, the smart contract only executives those parts of the contract that have met the criteria, sending the information along to the customer, shipper or carrier. The driver then is involved and upon making delivery, receives a code from the customer and after entering that code, the remained of the smart contract is executed, transferring tokens to the driver’s/fleet’s account for payment.
Cementing itself as a predictive supply chain disruption company, Riskpulse showed off its predictive capabilities, which it said can help predict disruption to shipments up to 2 weeks in advance.
To illustrate, the company explained that it uses its analytics capabilities to assign a risk score between 1 and 25 to an area or lane. For instance, in the demonstration, Chicago had a risk score of 16, indicating that temperature in the area would be under 50 degrees for nine days, potentially putting shipments in that area affected by cold at risk.
The company said its algorithms look at weather data along lanes at 10-mile intervals. That information is collected and inputted into a database that can be pulled into Excel. That information not only includes the risk score, but it also advises whether shipments should be moved, i.e. picked up a day or two early as a result.