AirAsia launches blockchain-based air cargo service ‘Freightchain’

AirAsia launches blockchain-based air cargo network, the 'Freightchain'

Teleport, the logistics arm of airline company AirAsia, announced the launch of Freightchain, which the company claims as the “world’s first digital air cargo network.”

Freightchain is a blockchain-based air cargo service. The platform will allow shippers and freight forwarders to conveniently and instantly “book and confirm any of AirAsia’s 24/7 aircraft to carry cargo.”

The platform also collects all available routings, so its clients can make bids that are validated by the blockchain.

Streamlining the booking process

Freightchain’s service offering will eliminate the time-consuming traditional booking process for air cargo services.

Before, clients had to first send email requests and coordinate their logistical needs with each cargo service provider in the supply chain before a booking can finalized.

It often takes many days and it can also be expensive. Freightchain addresses these concerns through the blockchain.

More accessible and affordable air cargo services

Freightchain’s goal is to make it easier for everyone in the cargo services supply chain to access what they need in terms of logistics. Its main objective is to directly connect shippers with all available cargo network connections operated by most airlines.

According to Vishal Batra, chief technology officer of Freightchain:

“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.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, AirAsia feels that cargo services have become more relevant than ever.

According to Freightchain, it will offer a “software to transparently bid and confirm urgent air cargo capacity in real-time […] to keep global supply chains for life-saving medical supplies and equipment moving.”

Blockchain network connects service providers

Freightchain’s successful pilot booking

According to AirAsia, the first trial booking on the platform facilitated the logistics of a pharmaceutical cargo bound from Bengaluru, India to Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

“An instant itinerary via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Seoul, South Korea was confirmed in real-time with flights from three different carriers through a smart contract on blockchain,” AirAsia said.

Freightchain was able to simplify the booking process and itinerary confirmations ten times faster. This was because the platform made it easy for shippers to find ideal routes and their corresponding connecting flights without over-exceeding the shipper’s budget allotment.

It also helped airlines utilize their idle flights because the platform made the interlining of flights on-demand.

With Freightchain, cargo delivery services can now be readily-accessed without having to go through an agent. Airlines can also directly sell their available cargo space to consumers in order to maximize their belly capacity. The platform does not charge agency fees as well.

Through the blockchain, every piece of information in each transaction, including contracts and agreements, are secured and readily-accessible to its users. AirAsia’s digital cargo service is only one among the many use-cases for the blockchain.

Images courtesy of Jack Moreh/Stockvault, Jack Moreh/Stockvault

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