A2B Direct, a freight forwarding platform currently operating in Eastern Europe, is working on implementing blockchain technology in its operations.
The platform itself was first announced in late 2016, and soon became unofficially known as a “freight Uber.’ Similar to the way Uber has disrupted the very idea of taxis, A2B is enabling peer-to-peer management of supply chains. Currently it offers direct interaction between freight forwarders and cargo owners, ensuring 24/7 communication with the driver. Furthermore, A2BDirect takes care of all involved paperwork while getting rid of excessive forwarding expenses.
The market the company seeks to disrupt is very vast, and unfortunately suffers from almost unbearable complexity of business processes.
Logistics: What Went Wrong
Logistics generally deals with forwarding cargo from one city to another. Those cities of course, may be located in different countries or even in different continents. This fact alone entails complexities related to customs clearance, generation of papers to accompany the cargo, controlling the movement of the cargo, and so on.
However, the complexities do not stop there. Another challenge faced by the industry is high forwarding expenses and omnipresence of intermediaries that no deal involving cargo can do without.
Finally, there’s a consumer issue: supply chains that bring goods from one continent to another are usually so long that products may get lost or damaged on the way: thanks to smuggling, paperwork errors or deliberate misconduct of even one of the numerous parties involved in the process, it can be very difficult, if not impossible to determine a commodity’s exact origin.
All those issues have been plaguing the industry for decades, and even the emergence of the internet didn’t seem to seriously improve the state of affairs. This might be the reason that makes A2B’s solution to stand out.
It ensures peer-to-peer interaction between cargo owners and freight forwards during all phases of freight forwarding. The customer may find the contractor that fits their purposes the best, ensures round-the-clock communication with the driver, and, most importantly, works with the entire cycle of document flow, insurance, and legal issues. The service’s clients may track their cargo online and forget about forwarding expenses. Both parties involved in the process, i.e. owners and forwarders, are able to find the best deals in a blink of an eye and plan their workload in advance.
Notably, the project has garnered support from local stakeholders of finance, oil and gas, insurance, and telecom industries. As a bonus, service customers get automatic access to the benefits and discounts provided by its partners.
The team behind A2B, however, opted not to stop at that and to improve the whole experience even further. In order to do that, they are implementing blockchain solutions to the platform.
Blockchain may offer serious advantages to international transportation.
The technology can automatically record all movements of lorries subscribed to the system, completely eliminates the need for intermediary services, and makes all paperwork and document flow fairly simple. On top of that blockchain ensures security and transparency that no centralized solution can offer.
As a result, the work of the system can become even less expensive. In addition to that, blockchain’s accountability would rectify the opacity of long supply chain, and would pull the plug on massive smuggling.
What’s Down the Road
A2B Direct has ambitious plans of expanding its presence to the Western Europe and America.
Powered by blockchain technology, it might actually disrupt the stagnating and overwhelmed market of international transportation and logistics by bringing innovations to every level of business processes of the industry.