“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: January 2018

“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: January 2018

Welcome to the first issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release in 2018, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies in logistics that happened in January.

Here is the list of topics in this issue:


DHL launches Global Trade Barometer

Picture Credit: Deutsche Post DHL

As one of the leading logistics companies, DHL dedicates a lot of resources to R&D of new products that it can offer to the ecosystem. On January 18th, the company announced the launch of their new service – Global Trade Barometer, a predictive indicator for the world economy. The Barometer provides a global index value as well as individual country-by-country predictions for trade flows, based on the use of Artificial Intelligence and various predictive models that analyze large amounts of data on air and containerized ocean freight. The index for January is already published, indicating a moderate growth of global trade for the upcoming 3 months. According to DHL, the insights from the Global Trade Barometer will assist the clients to optimize their business processes, by providing guidance for investment and supply chain decisions.

“In a world characterized by volatility and uncertainty, we are contributing to greater transparency and predictability – for the benefit of our customers, our business and society”, Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, stated when introducing the service.

In November, Transmetrics had an interview with João Monteiro, a Managing Director and Founder of LogIndex, a tool similar to DHL Barometer which predicts the global trade and key economic indicators. LogIndex is an affiliate of Kuehne+Nagel, which is creating the nowcasts based on the real-time logistics flows and data of Kuehne+Nagel.

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IBM and Maersk present a joint venture to digitize global trade and supply chain through Blockchain

Picture Credit: Maersk

Blockchain venture between IBM and Maersk was among the first news that we have discussed when we launched our Across Logistics monthly news releases last year. Back then, the Danish shipping giant announced that they had completed their first successful blockchain trial in partnership with IBM. Following the success of the last year, on January 16th, the companies announced that they are establishing a joint venture for conducting global trade via the blockchain.

The main goal of the new company is to provide more transparency, security and simplicity in the movement of goods around the world, by using a global trade digitization platform, designed specifically for the entire shipping ecosystem. IBM and Maersk plan to scale the solution to a broader group of global corporations. This group includes General Motors, Procter & Gamble, as well as Agility Logistics, all of whom expressed the interest in improving the supply chain efficiency.

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HERE introduces global marketplace for on-demand transportation and mobility services

Picture Credit: HERE

On January 8th, HERE technologies, a leading provider of mapping solutions, has announced that they are launching an on-demand transportation and mobility marketplace called HERE Mobility. The main goal of the service is to improve the world’s transport and mobility services by bringing them to one hub. In addition to that, the Marketplace aims to connect global supply and demand in the market for mobility services, while The Mobility Dispatch system provides a powerful real-time fleet utilization and optimization solution.

“Fundamentally, the mobility services market lacks a facilitated portal or clear protocol. There are also huge technological gaps between the established providers and more recent entries. HERE Mobility endeavors to democratize the world of mobility by deploying products aimed at setting a new standard of mobility equality for all players in the mobility ecosystem.” – the company shared in their press release.

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World’s first freight deal settles in Bitcoin

Picture Credit: Jason Benjamin

With every year more and more online stores are accepting bitcoin as a payment method. Even some physical venues are accepting bitcoins in exchange for coffee, or apparel. However, there were no bitcoin freight deals recorded until recently. The Prime Shipping Foundation, a project by Quorum Capital and Interchart, has announced that it is behind the world’s first trade deal settled in Bitcoin. The deal was executed for a vessel carrying 3,000 metric tons of wheat from Russia to Turkey.

“The Prime Crypto Bank [Part of the Prime Shipping Foundation] will become the interface between the online world and the real world, allowing a gradual adoption for the shipping industry, without compromising the benefits the new era brings.”- Ivan Vikulov, CEO of the Prime Shipping Foundation said.

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Port-Liner announces all electric container barges

Picture Credit: Port Liner

Last year was full of announcements about new driverless and electric vehicles. One of the great examples was the world’s first fully autonomous and zero-emission vessel, which is being developed by two Norwegian companies Yara and Kongsberg. It seems like 2018 will deliver even more of such announcements and, in fact, the first one already happened in January. Port Liner, a Dutch company, is going to launch two all-electric giant barges by the Fall of 2018. Despite the short deadline, the company is positive that it can deliver the 100 million-euro project, which is also supported by a 7 million-euro subsidy from the EU.

The project is expected to have a significant impact on local transport flows between the ports of Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam. According to Port Liner, each barge is capable of carrying up to 280 containers and the first 6 barges are expected to remove 23,000 trucks from the Dutch roads annually and replace them with a much more eco-friendly solution.

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