White paper: Building the Blockchain Logistics Protocol
2.6 Distributed Apps
De-centralized “ERP for Truckers”
OpenPort works across several national markets, each with its own set of unique requirements and demand for localization of our core technology (language, freight charge types, etc.). In addition to requests for new market entry (Vietnam, Dubai, and Bangladesh are planned for Q1 2018) and the localization and customisation required, we also see opportunities for customisation across different industries (from consumer goods to automotive, pharmaceuticals and life sciences), and for large shippers (customised ePOD) and larger transport companies and 3rd party logistics providers who want to adopt OpenPort technology for their own use.
For these transportation companies, many of whomwork on a manually intensive dispatch, asset management, tracking and billing process, OpenPort has already started to sell and implement our system on a standalone basis. After the token generation event, OpenPort will allow truckers to access our system to manage shipments in exchange for OPN. This fulfils demand for a (blockchain compatible) system which helps truckers to manage these core business processes and expand OpenPort’s role as a leading functional operator in this ecosystem.
To further build out our new ecosystem for digital logistics, OpenPort will support the development of software development kits (SDKs) and distributed apps (dApps), leveraging fat protocols around crucial logistics use cases. Full utilization of these dApps, interoperability, and capacity to interface with the OpenPort platform will require OPN to enable distributed transactions, ePOD,and payment services. This licensing fee equivalent of OPN required for network, software and service access, while initially waived, will grow over time and further increase demand for the OpenPort token.
Planned dApps include:-
A mobile app enabling drivers, regardless of working for a large transporter or independently as a single asset owner, to view Shipment Requests (aka shipment tenders, transport tender requests, shipment booking, etc), then bid or offer rates for transport on either immediate need, pre-scheduled shipments in advance, or regular seasonal schedules. With its intuitive mobile-only touchpoint, OpenBroker shippers and drivers can fulfil the movement of goods with a small tech footprint and immensely trusted Smart Contracts ultimately paying out in OPN.
The freight brokerage industry for small “mom and pop” asset owners with 1-3 “market-hired” trucks relies on a manual and labour intensive paperbased process, which deploys a heavy allocation of working capital (up to 80 or 90% of the total freight bill prepaid, followed by months of delayed payment from the shipper due to the time delays of manual invoicing) to secure capacity from the asset-owners and re-sell that trucking capacity and service for a 5-10% margin. Using digital payments on completion of smart contracts will allow a more effective use of working capital and competitive transport rates from the improved cash flow for payment completion. The fragmentation of the industry for market-hired freight creates a strong demand for distributed apps linked by a common token framework.
A set of APIs enabling shippers, transporters and solutions providers to interact with common shipment records using a unified platform based on Ethereum. OpenLink provides key integration points such as Shipment Management, Map Tracking, GPS integration, Shipment Events and most importantly ePOD. Built on blockchain to validate record types and sources, OpenLink significantly extends the ability of OpenTM users to achieve a true collaborative supply chain and connect external applications such as retail e-commerce, large store chain OMS (order management systems) or traditional ERP/MRPs employed by large multinational manufacturers with little overhead on technology and learning curve.
Today OpenPort is integrated with JD Edwards, Oracle, GTNexus, SAP TM and other SAP modules and expanding this integration to several different protocols. This integration consists primarily of inbound delivery order data and the reciprocal flows of shipment and ePOD data back to the shipper’s ERP environment. Integration to the GPS units and related software infrastructure of leading transport providers for Nestlé in Pakistan, as another example, has been completed giving the transporters a means to work with OpenPort as a “single dashboard” provider to a large multinational shipper’s logistics operations team.
Other integration proposals and requests such as WhatsApp or WeChat APIs for our ePOD product are brought to OpenPort’s sales and management teams from current and prospective clients across Asia. This variety of integration requests, combined with the interest in OpenPort shown by very large platforms mentioned above, merits a commercialized (token license fee) distributed application structure of its own. Additional developer tools would include hardware products to OpenPort and IOT sensor, where we have already completed pilot projects.