Vodafone partnership automates cargo tracking

Vodafone and Sumitomo business Pairpoint  and asset-intelligence company Nexxiot, have joined forces to offer digital services that speed up the flow of goods worldwide.

The service will automatically verify the provenance of data on the movement and content of cargo, allowing companies to improve freight handling while complying with trade laws. This should lead to faster customs and port authority clearance and expedite the digital transformation of the logistics sector.

The partnership combines Pairpoint’s DAB digital asset broker platform, which can improve the provenance of data relating to the routes and contents of shipping containers, with KYX, a service comprising Deloitte’s Know Your Client and Know Your Cargo services, and Nexxiot’s freight offerings, including smart connected sensors. KYX is the result of a recent partnership between Deloitte and Nexxiot, which specialises in enabling the autonomous collection of asset data to optimise the costs in moving freight, including shipping containers and railcars.

The audit trail generated by DAB should help organisations meet forthcoming regulatory requirements, including the accurate reporting of the origins of sources within their supply chains and ensuring the integrity of shipments and associated records. DAB also lets users create programmable smart contracts, advancing the digitalisation and automation of supply chain processes.

This lets shipping containers become intelligent agents capable of seamless interaction within the economy of things, in which goods and devices transact securely with each other, including features such as customs self-clearing containers and end-to-end shipping document digitalisation.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to offer significant advantages to stakeholders in the logistics sector by promoting surety and provenance of data in the shipping industry,” said Jorge Bento, Pairpoint CEO. “Our goal is to enhance the efficiency of maritime logistics and streamline goods clearing customs and ports without introducing additional risk.”

Helena Lisachuk, global IoT lead at Deloitte, added: “We are dedicated to establishing green lanes to minimise disruptions for cargo in global transit. Achieving this requires close collaboration with port authorities and engagement with global and regional justice organisations. Applying Nexxiot’s and Pairpoint’s technology and knowledge to enable real-time monitoring and door-related event tracking, along with Deloitte’s expertise, offers new mechanisms to monitor data integrity during cargo movements.”

And Stefan Kalmund, CEO of Nexxiot, said: “Our strategic collaboration with Deloitte, Vodafone and Sumitomo aligns with our vision to enable smart assets out of existing shipping containers and railcars. We aim to identify operational inefficiencies or safety concerns while providing data provenance to various stakeholders, including shippers, carriers, port authorities and trade financing partners. This is a significant step in supporting the digital economy of connected cargo and global goods movement.”

The partnership is timely because port authorities around the world increasingly will only process shipping containers if a full audit trail is presented. By protecting a shipping container from being opened and improving the reporting about the container’s contents to the port authorities, cargo can be moved much faster through customs.

Freight and shipping companies and other brokers and logistics organisations can also comply with multiple country specific regulations no matter how complex the supply chain, even if it involves cross-border shipments and offshore entities.

Together, the companies are providing a secure service to allow other parties to join the ecosystem, and leveraging the respective geographical scale of Vodafone, Sumitomo, Deloitte and Nexxiot to cover shipping routes throughout the world.

Pairpoint (pairpoint.io) is based in the UK, with offices in London and Lisbon. It is supported by an investment of €60m from Vodafone (www.vodafone.com) and Sumitomo (www.sumitomocorp.com) and employs 50 people with skills and experience in IoT and financial technology.

Deloitte (www.deloitte.com) provides audit and assurance, tax and legal, consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory services to nearly 90% of the Fortune Global 500 and thousands of private companies.

Nexxiot (www.nexxiot.com) is digitalising freight asset management with technology that oversees a network of connected shipping containers and railcars. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Nexxiot’s influence extends globally from offices in Europe and North America and maintains a presence in over 450 depots, ports and rail yards.