Air Asia became the first airline to embrace blockchain technology for freight after it yesterday revealed Freightchain, an air cargo booking system that offers instant cargo bookings to shippers and freight forwarders powered by blockchain technology.
The Malaysian low-cost airline, through its logistics division Teleport declared it would dump the traditional freight management method that wastes a lot of time for a blockchain-operated system that could see orders made and processed in minutes that no other airline or cargo companies had used before.
Freightchain is a digital network for air cargo run by airline companies to let shippers and forwarders instantly book space and manage air cargo, after studying all the supply chain needs. It is powered by blockchain technology.
The web platform has been keenly designed with simple and clear features as well as user support. Manipulating the technology is effortless by clients, who are required to sign up for free before proceeding with any transactions.
In the system, the customer can check routes, airline space availability, cost, and other information regarding the shipment without having to go through an agent, while the airlines can also sell their cargo space directly to the buyers.
The system is up and running. The first batch of shipment was made from Bangaluru to Mongolia with ease: less paperwork, urgency, safety, and simplicity, and most importantly, transparency.
Blockchain technology, though it has great potential, is still underutilized in the aviation industry. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) research report on the potential of applying blockchain technology in the air travel and cargo service business, the technology had passed the prototype stage and ready for application in a range of departments including digital IDs, certification, tokenization, provenance, and smart contracts.
Numerous researches on air travel and freight recommended blockchain solutions for changing the workforce, finance, and maintenance realms of the industry mainly through proper digital data management. And airlines actually explore this innovation.
As coinodol.com, a world blockchain news outlet reported, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines try to adopt blockchain for accounting and finance management. Back in 2017, S7 airlines adopted the technology for payment settlement with third party companies. American Airlines have a long-term plan and outlook on adopting blockchain into various processes in their industry.
Moreover, blockchain has the potential to disrupt not only the work of airlines but also operations in airports. The technology, combined with artificial intelligence, is able to facilitate passenger identification and customs checks.
As of now, the potential of this disruptive innovation is still to be explored as there might probably be much more cases of its implementation. However, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines that are mostly on a lockdown have plenty of time to boost their research.