SmartLog - Proof of concept project for IoT blockchain solution in logistics industry
There are numerous definitions and descriptions of blockchain, most of them written from the point of view of a cryptocurrency use case. Bitcoin and it’s successors make up the current bulk of various blockchain fabrics out there, but blockchain and bitcoin are not the same thing at all.
Project SmartLog is about introducing a blockchain technology application into the logistics business operational data transfer traffic – not just as an commercial, proprietary application suite, but rather as an industry-wide open solution to which every interested and involved party can join and from which every involved party can directly benefit from.
We applied for project funding from the European Union’s Interreg Central Baltic program, answering to the programme priority “Well-connected region” and it’s specific objective “Improved transport flows of people and goods”. After a two-step evaluation process, we were awarded the grant to start our work in the Baltic states of Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia.
The project partners are as follows:
- Kouvola Innovation Oy, Finland (project leader, WP 3 leader)
- Region Örebro county, Sweden
- Transport and Telecommunication Institute, Latvia
- Valga County Development Agency, Estonia
- Sensei LCC, Estonia (WP 1 leader)
- Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia (WP 2 leader)
The specific metrics we need to involve ourselves in to are the measurements regarding the end-to-end transit times of cargo along the two relevant TEN-T core network corridors in the Baltics, namely the ScanMed and the North Sea – Baltic. In short, we aim to reduce cargo transit times on those corridors, according to the EU policy objectives.
The project duration is 36 months – or 3 years – and the official launch date is first of September 2016. The actual work has been divided into three separate work packages, each responsible for one critically important facet of the desired outcome:
- Working with the logistics companies in the Baltic region – work package leader Sensei LCC. This WP oversees the immediate contact, work and continuous support and feedback with the actual companies which will be taking part in the project activities and ultimately piloting the application we are developing.
- Analyzing the data generated by the companies by using the blockchain application – work package leader Tallinn University of Technology. This WP is responsible for generating the framework of how to analyze the operational data regarding the movements of containers across the corridors, and determining exactly what effect does the use of blockchain has to the transport times, and other core business performance metrics.
- Developing the blockchain fabric, application layer and the locator device – work package leader Kouvola Innovation Oy. This WP creates the necessary software and hardware tools for the companies and containers, which will be used in the process of gathering and generating the relevant operational data for eventual analysis.