FAQ

General

CargoChain is an information sharing and innovation platform for the global supply chain. We have undertaken the heavy-lifting by developing a "fat" platform that includes comprehensive supply chain workflows and the underlying infrastructure that enables "thin" supply chain applications to be developed.

To be the world’s largest repository of rich cargo information providing a single source of the truth to all supply chain actors. We will achieve this by being the foundation of all supply chain applications. By providing communities of application developers with pre-built supply chain functionality and the ability to access and share rich cargo information, the CargoChain platform enables the delivery of cost-effective supply chain solutions. This democratises the information supply chain, powering applications that allow all participants, regardless of size, to make better business decisions.

When it comes to information sharing, the logistics industry has fallen behind. Participants are restricted to sharing pre-agreed information on a point-to-point basis using communication protocols developed in the 1960s. Supply-chain-wide transparency and visibility of information is almost impossible as the majority of cargo information is locked away in siloed legacy systems. We recognised that a different approach to sharing information was required to bring innovation to the supply chain.

Any supply chain actor. Most blockchain solutions adopt highly permissioned, actor-based models and therefore are inflexible. CargoChain is unconstrained. Our open platform means it does not discriminate against any supply chain actor wanting to join the network. Our goal is to remove all barriers. We operate a completely flexible model allowing all participants to “come as you are”. By utilising pre-built functionality that mirrors the real-world physical flow of cargo, connecting existing applications to CargoChain, or building new applications on CargoChain either in-house or using third-party developers, is easy, fast and cost effective.

Current logistics software focuses on track and trace visibility at the shipment and location level, whereas CargoChain’s cargo-centric approach provides not only full visibility of the location, but also details the state of the cargo right down to the package level. Cargo is the building block of the supply chain. By developing our system from the most granular level it means that anyone in the supply chain can use our platform, and it provides the foundation from which future applications can be built.

Cargo can be anything from breakbulk to bulk or from shoes to milk. All cargo has a profile and is allocated a unique ID, QR code and barcode. Cargo can be “stuffed” e.g. a bottle of milk can be added to a box, then to a pallet, a pallet can be added to a container, and also “unstuffed” at the end of a journey (disaggregated back to a bottle of milk). When cargo is stuffed into a container, the original cargo profile inherits all of the properties of the container. Any update to the container cargo profile will be propagated down to the cargo inside the container, ensuring information is always stored at the most granular level. Bulk cargo, which is wet or dry cargo transported unpackaged in large quantities, can be split and merged.

If you are interested in finding out more about CargoChain please talk to us. We are currently taking interest from application developers, service partners and those directly involved in the supply chain.

If you would like a CargoChain application built then please see our partners page. Currently Augen Software Group are our development partners of choice.

Applications, including integrated legacy applications have their own business logic but make API calls on the data held in CargoChain, similar to an application utilising Google Maps. CargoChain charges for these API calls as this retrieval of data provides valuable information for the application. Applications also add and store information on CargoChain. There is no charge for adding or storing this information.

Technology

The cornerstone of the CargoChain platform is a revolutionary Information Sharing Protocol and API that allows previously unavailable rich cargo information to be shared across a supply chain between as many participants as is required. Both structured and unstructured cargo information, including images, videos and documents, can be shared seamlessly with any trusted actor in the global supply chain.

CargoChain’s Information Sharing Protocol has deep supply chain functionality and workfl­ows that provide a digital replica of the way cargo flows through the physical supply chain. This allows application developers to rapidly build and deploy solutions in a way that is currently not possible. The supply chain workflows native to the platform are:

  • Create cargo
  • Plan cargo
  • Add cargo information
  • Accept cargo
  • Share cargo
  • Reject cargo
  • Release cargo
  • Request cargo release
  • Announce cargo
  • Request cargo information

The CargoChain platform is effectively unlimited in terms of the nature of supply chain applications it can support. Provenance, cargo visibility, trade community systems, insurance and fraud are just a small sample of CargoChain’s potential use cases

The choice is yours. CargoChain does everything EDI does and more. You can exchange not only text, but also videos, photos, files and either structured or unstructured text. You can also create your own schemas, ensuring you receive the data that you require. All information is instantly readable to business users through a user interface. However, we realize that completely replacing EDI would be an unrealistic goal for many of you so we enable you to import EDI into CargoChain through an application, and you can supplement this with any further data you wish to add using CargoChain.

We have developed an API that allows you to integrate with CargoChain. We also have a user interface where you can upload cargo manually.

Yes, our Software Development Kit (SDK) will expose all CargoChain features providing application developers a seamless way to interact with our API, whether using C Sharp or JavaScript languages.

Yes. Cargo information can also be automatically added via Internet of Things (IoT) devices and integrated legacy applications.

Whereas EDI inhibits information sharing, only allowing pre-agreed, point-to-point messages to be shared, CargoChain enables cargo information to be shared with any trusted partner. Once shared, the trusted partner will have the same level of visibility of the cargo information during its journey through the supply chain. Alternatively, a permissioned view can be shared with select details only. This unique Information Sharing Protocol provides third-party applications and users end-to-end visibility of cargo information to a level that has not previously been available.

Blockchain

Yes. CargoChain is one of the few supply chain solutions that has blockchain as an integral working part of its Platform. The CargoChain Information Sharing Protocol allows rich cargo information to be shared, exchanged and stored using blockchain. All cargo events are recorded on-chain, following the execution of a smart contract, while rich cargo data is stored off-chain. This provides immutable proof of all cargo events at any given point in time as cargo moves along the supply chain. This use of blockchain provides complete trust in all information recorded on CargoChain.

As the custody of cargo changes hands from one trusted party to another, a smart contract is activated storing relevant cargo events on-chain. This provides absolute trust in all cargo information held on CargoChain. All rich cargo information is stored off-chain.

We are using Hyperledger Fabric.

 

Not sure about a term we’ve used? Check out our glossary.
Can’t find an answer to your question? Please email info@cargochain.com.