Global logistics management is the underpinning of trade and the world economy – and shipping plays a vital role in that..
Freight logistics may not be glamorous, but the industry impacts daily life for most people on the planet today, even if they do not realize it. The industry is also a multi-trillion dollar a year industry globally. It is expected to have a market cap of $15.5 trillion in 2023, up from $8.1 trillion in 2015. That also makes logistics one of the largest industry verticals on the planet.
Yet, according to globally renowned consulting firm KPMG, 40% of manufacturers lack information and visibility across their supply chains. In some cases, companies still use paper ledgers to track products (not to mention fax machines). Given that 65% of the value of a company’s products or services is derived from the supplies and efficiency of its supply chain, this reliance on old-fashioned technology and processing is, to say the least, outdated. And expensive.
For that reason, the entire logistics industry is looking to blockchain technology to drop costs as well as bring supply chain management into the modern age. This includes
the port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest shipping port, which is already a member of a blockchain consortium with the support of more than fifteen public and private companies based in the Netherlands.
This is not the only “ship” that is setting sail in this brave new ocean, however. And it is already clear that the technology will revolutionize the entire vertical in expected and unexpected ways.
Shipchain was founded with the mission of solving the greatest problems facing the logistics industry today. They plan to launch a fully integrated system that operates across the entire supply chain from the moment it leaves the factory to delivery to the final customer or destination. They have also lined up major industry partners to begin testing and rollout of the system.
The benefits the platform will create include:
Unified Tracking and Transparency: The ShipChain system will unify shipment tracking across the Ethereum blockchain using the proprietary ShipChain side-chain to track each smart contract. Shippers will get real-time information about the entire transport cycle and have the ability to communicate instantly with all carriers and other waypoints with ease.
Decentralized Brokerage: The ShipChain blockchain will supplant the need for brokers by allowing carriers the ability to find shipments and route multimodal transportation based on distance, traffic, weather conditions, fuel and more. The system will generate a smart contract upon pickup that holds payments in escrow until release conditions are met.
Asset Security: Deploying blockchain into the freight industry to encode geographic data will increase cargo visibility and dramatically reduce theft. By integrating barcodes or hardware RFID integration, assets can be automatically verified each time electronic logs are reported. This dramatically increases security at every point of the distribution process.
Trustless incentives: ShipChain will utilize blockchain technology to encode and encrypt waypoint information. Doing so will also allow the creation of digital escrows that will enable the assessment of point-of-delivery or hand-off in a far more accurate way and in a trustless environment.
Unified Management: The ShipChain smart contract system will create a building block for a decentralized brokerage that will also create an open marketplace connecting shippers to carriers.
The ShipChain contract is an Ethereum EVM smart contract that can be duplicated and used by anyone to orchestrate a shipping escrow on the distributed ledger. The shipment completion information will be stored on the main Ethereum blockchain. However, to keep costs low, individual tracking will be stored and verified in an associated side chain which operates on the ShipChain protocol. Large partners will also be able to operate their own ShipChain protocol side-chains. The ShipChain Foundation is being set up to identify and help strategic projects it deems useful to promoting the use of its solution and the overall challenges facing the industry.
When a shipment order is placed, a smart contract will be initiated. The contract will include a hashed signature with the delivery information for the shipment. Anyone with a valid copy of the codes can verify the signature and assert the validity of the contract. The data can also be optionally encrypted and stored on a side-chain for point-by-point package tracking on a piece-by-piece basis. The contract will be completed upon delivery.
The SHIP token functions in several different ways throughout the platform.
Ownership of at least 1 full SHIP token grants “ShipChain Membership Status.” This status is required to access the blockchain for either booking freight or tracking shipments.
Transactions throughout the logistics supply chain will also be paid and settled in tokens. The ShipChain web platform connecting to the blockchain will allow users to either pay directly in tokens they already hold or allow them to purchase tokens from ShipChain for these transit services. ShipChain will enter listing agreements with exchanges to allow for ease of liquidity between both fiat and major cryptocurrencies.
Tokens will also be used as incentives or “gamified” incentives (and worth up to 20% of the worth of each freight transaction) for carriers to incentivize safe and timely deliveries.
Here are the details of the upcoming ShipChain token sale:
Token name: SHIP
Token base: ERC-20
Token supply: 205 million SHIP to be sold through three token sales including private pre-sale.
Token sale duration: First public sale, January 2018. Second public sale upon completion of milestones
Token sale target: USD $10 million (in ETH) via the first token sale, and then by market price, with a soft limit of $30 million by the end of the first public sale.
Token price: Currently running an airdrop campaign and private sale. Pricing not available.