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AirAsia launches blockchain-based cargo booking system

Teleport, the logistics arm of AirAsia, has introduced a blockchain-based cargo booking system Freightchain.

According to the airlines' announcement, Freightchain is "the world’s first digital air cargo network run on blockchain". The system allows any shipper of freight forwarder to directly book and confirm any of AirAsia’s 247 aircraft to transport cargo and frees the customers from the need to go through traditional time-consuming channels.

Freighchain has been designed to help shippers and freight forwarders with all their supply chain needs by assigning them to all available cargo network connections offered by the airlines. The system then promotes on-demand bookings in real-time through offers submitted and verified on the blockchain.

Vishal Batra, the chief technology officer at Freightchain, stresses the importance of the air cargo role in the global battle against COVID-19. “We deliberately launched Freightchain during this period of uncertainty within global supply chains, caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Agile software platforms like Freightchain help to connect uneven supply and demand amidst a rapidly evolving environment. Trust and transparency are needed now more than ever", he explains.

The Freightchain network has already been piloted with shipping a cargo of pharmaceuticals from Bengaluru, India to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The itinerary was confirmed in real-time with flights from three different carriers through a smart contract.

Since there were no direct flights from Bengaluru to Ulan Bator, the shipper would have normally inquired about the availability of connecting flights with multiple airlines and agents manually by making time-consuming phone calls and exchanging emails. While the Freightchain blockchain network simplifies the whole booking process considerably in both, the amount of work required and the speed of performance:

"Freightchain simplified the booking process and confirmed the itinerary 10 times faster for shippers by programmatically discovering the available routes with connecting flights within the shipper's budget and passing on significant cost savings to shippers. For the airlines, the dynamic on-demand interlining of flights helped improve otherwise underutilized flights."

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