Today, when you order goods from a seller you get updates at three points during their journey: when the goods leave their point of origin, when they arrive and leave a transfer station, and when they arrive at their final destination. It’s good information to have, but it‘s incomplete. For example, if you need to prepare your warehouses for a shipment, you should know when the shipment is due to arrive. It’s also helpful to be able to monitor the status of goods in transit—especially if the goods are perishable.
To create more visibility, we’re looking at how Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices can help companies better monitor their goods in transit. These devices are loaded with sensors and shipped along with the goods. En route, they monitor location, temperature, humidity, air pressure, light levels, motion, and shocks.
This is powerful information. Companies can use it to enrich purchase orders and advance shipping notices. But that’s not all, third-parties can also use this data. For example, insurance companies can use it to monitor the condition of goods in real-time and pinpoint when goods are damaged and by whom. This will allow them to offer better rates and make it easier for them to process claims.
Lenders can use this data to build new financing models. For example, they can use the status of the goods as a source for event-based financing, where assurance of integrity and partial deliveries of goods are used as collateral, and where payments—both to and from financiers—are automated.
Building the infrastructure
The first step towards achieving these goals is to create an infrastructure capable of providing the conditions to properly monitor data. Frontiers is already taking that first step. With the infrastructure in place, you can see the status of goods right next to the order lines in your invoice or your purchase order—and be alerted if any issues arise.
We envision a world where this level of visibility of the conditions of goods as they are shipped will empower not just us, but all of the enterprises on our network to innovate and update their businesses to provide a better experience for their customers and improve value throughout the supply chain.
The vision of Tradeshift Pulse is to enable innovation by increasing the number of financeable events in supply chains. Additional goals include: driving automation of processes, and enhancing ecosystem collaboration. We believe in a world where banks, insurers, buyers, suppliers, inspectors, and transporters all work on a shared platform, where relevant information flows to the rights partiers in real-time, and where everyone can collaborate seamlessly to increase value throughout the supply chain.