IATA WCS 2019: Blockchain comes to air cargo billing

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Cargo Community Network (CCN) has partnered with Microsoft to introduce the world’s first blockchain-based air cargo billing, costing and reconciliation system.

Launched at the 13th IATA World Cargo Symposium in Singapore, the system aims to transform the air cargo billing process, minimise discrepancies, accelerate reconciliation and provide near real-time revenue recognition.

CCN’s blockchain-based air cargo billing, costing and reconciliation system was launched following a hackathon organised by Microsoft and CNN, and a two-month proof-of-concept involving airline partners and freight forwarders such as Singapore Airlines, SATS, Alliance21 and Bollore.

Using Microsoft’s blockchain service on Azure, CCN is now able to deliver a single immutable source of information for air cargo shipment rates, shipment details and billing processes via blockchain, with real-time updates provided by stakeholders.

Teow Boon Ling, CEO of Cargo Community Network says: “The typical air cargo billing, costing and reconciliation process can involve many stakeholders along the entire supply chain. These processes are also very manual, manpower-intensive and prone to error.

“By using blockchain on Microsoft Azure, not only does this shorten the billing cycle from up to three weeks to a matter of hours, it can also reduce discrepancies, while enabling greater accountability and visibility across the entire supply chain.”

Kevin Wo, managing director of Microsoft Singapore says: “By using a robust, blockchain on Azure hybrid cloud set-up with high availability, Cargo Community Network is well-positioned to help airlines and freight forwarders to be quicker and more efficient with their billing processes, which can translate into tangible value-add for the industry across the board.”