OpenPort: Re-inventing a Cloud-based Logistics solution with Blockchain
Max Ward, Founder & CEO
Problems such as delay in payments, irregular delivery durations, and misplacement of shipments have always haunted the third party logistics (3PL) industry. A large part of the credit for the current inefficiencies in the industry can be tied to the widely prevalent manual operations. Hong Kong-based OpenPort aims to inject a dose of change into the 3PL sector by automating the shipping and transportation industry to implement resource planning with cloud-enabled ERP and logistics solutions using blockchain technology.“We are trying to build a global platform for domestic transport providers that are accessible to large shippers in countries that we operate in,” says Johanne Lim, Vice President of Product Management, OpenPort.
By unifying logistics, ERP, and real-time transport capacity and shipment events, OpenPort provides transparent, cloud-based logistics solutions delivering omni-channel visibility throughout the supply chain. The firm’s Open Transport Management (OpenTM) allows monitoring of shipments, configurability of assets, consolidation of loads, and tracking of shipment events to streamline the transportation process for shippers. OpenTM comes with real-time tracking of goods and resources with optional navigation guides to regulate the time duration from the warehouse to the destination of the shipment. The software is bundled with in-app services and integrated notification broadcasts to enable communication across shippers, transporters, and their network of drivers. Another solution of the firm, OpenAnalytics provides performance tracking and real-time statistics of the transportation services with several turnkey dashboards to simplify the management of consignments. The application links mobile services with multiple data sources via direct integration or OpenAPI to provide unified visibility of the shipments or vehicle generated events.
OpenPort’s blockchain compliant ePOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery) combines their robust ERP and logistics services which tackle some common transactional issues such as delayed payments and cash flow discrepancies and eases the process of invoice generation. Serving as electronic authentication, ePOD delivers real-time proof of delivery and serves as a differentiating factor for the company with its integration of OpenAnalytics, OpenTM, and OpenMarket. Built on blockchain technology, the irrefutable and auditable nature of the ePOD and key business logic of the shipment fulfillment workflow making up OpenPort’s smart contracts strengthens the company’s grasp on the logistics industry for its global acceptance and validation.
OpenMarket, the company’s unique freight marketplace, connects multiple transport providers from different regions to a common platform to enable shippers to make cost-effective decisions on freight procurement efficiently. This further enables transporters to provide secure and blockchain-verified shipment tracking events and ultimately ePOD, while enabling integrators to connect via APIs and plug-ins. Shippers and truckers ultimately pool resources to better optimize the delivery of goods significantly decreasing unforeseen costs and tariffs.
One of OpenPort’s multinational customers, which previously worked with traditional truckers and limited to just GPS technology, only had data restricted to the positioning of the truck. The client needed to access the contents of the truck, particularly the condition of the goods and events the truck encountered along cross province delivery. OpenPort’s automation allowed the company to track sales by the order-and-delivery hierarchy and view them all on a single dashboard with access to information across various regions of distribution.
OpenPort in its future iterations is planning to bring about digital payment for truckers and issue tokens to ease the process of delivery. Although the technology is still in its infancy, blockchain’s evolution of the OpenPort product suite could offer groundbreaking innovation in the industry and redefine the way logistics evolves.