Ethereum & Logistics

I'm not sure if this topic actually belongs here, but I guess we'll find out.

I'd like some of your opinions and comments on the potential for Ethereum based DACs, DAOs or DAAs to solve logistical problems, handle complex logistical tasks, and even make logistical tasks much more efficient. I don't have a deep knowledge of logistics or Ethereum, but based on what I've read and heard so far, it seems that Ethereum is perfect for this.

A few things that come to mind include Air Traffic Control, mail/package order and delivery, anything to do with shipping and receiving (Air, ground and sea),... Another good example would be the order/purchase, design, and shipment of steel goods. ( Live near a NUCOR Steel plant, and I can sense that Ethereum would certainly help them in many ways).

Comments

  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @bearkatboy I have plans to build a smart sku system with ethereum, I even have a domain for it ethersku.com (no site up yet) :) . Which many of the items you mentioned above could be built take advantage of, new accounting systems, erps, etc.
  • comtechnetcomtechnet Member Posts: 57
    @giannidalerta - let me know if/how I can help participate in your smart sku system - very interesting. I've got some business experience in this area.
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @comtechnet thank! I am working on a whitepaper, will let you know. I'm not a coder so will need help.
  • FlynFlyn Member Posts: 8
    BearkatBoy, I've been mulling over the idea of a distributed courier network. Such a DAC would benefit from network effect. Each origin or destination node added to the network would increase its utility to all stakeholders. This characteristic could help the DAC grow. Another feature could be the use of underutilized capacity in vehicles that already travel between two points. For example, transporting packages in the otherwise empty trunks of a cars that commute between two points on a frequent basis. This could support low transport costs and possibly rapid delivery. Here's what I envision (keep in mind that this is rough, not refined):

    A distributed courier network that would...
    1. facilitate the delivery of packages from origins to destinations.
    2. use underutilized capacity in vehicles traveling between two points to transport packages.
    3. consist of a network of independently owned nodes that serve as points of origin and destination.
    4. use cryptocurrency (Ether?) for very inexpensive transactions.
    5. use cryptocurrency for transporter security deposits that discourage theft.
    5. use something like 4-way smart contracts between senders, origin nodes, transporters, intermediate nodes, and destination nodes to incentivize each participant to do its part.

    Each sender would...
    1. deposit the package in a locker at a local (origin) node.
    2. use a web application (or mobile device application) to arrange the delivery of the package from the origin node to the destination node.
    3. use a web application to pay the delivery fee (which will compensate the origin node, transporter(s), intermediate node(s), and destination node for their services).

    Each transporter would..
    1. use a web application to post the availability of capacity in a vehicle traveling between two nodes (origin and destination).
    2. use a web application to be notified of packages available to be transported.
    3. pick up packages at origin node.
    4. make security deposits using cryptocurrency for each package under the transporter's care.
    5. deliver the packages to the destination node.
    6. receive back security deposits when the packages are confirmed to be delivered successfully.
    7. collect a fee from each sender for the successful delivery of their respective packages.

    Each node would...
    1. consist of one or more lockers and a networked computer.
    2. control access to the lockers via the networked computer.
    3. interface with senders, transporters, and other nodes via a web application and Ethereum.
    4. calculate the sequences of nodes packages must traverse to get to the destination node.
    5. instantiate the 4-way smart contract between sender, originating node, transporter, and next node in the sequence.
    6. confirm receipt of packages from transporters, which will enable the release of security deposits back to the transporters as well as payment of delivery fees.
    7. store packages securely in lockers between drop-off and pick-up.
    8. collect fees from the senders for services rendered.

    ... I'll work on some sort of infographic/visual aid to help convey the concept. In the mean time, what are your thoughts?
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @Flyn AWESOME
    5. use cryptocurrency for transporter security deposits that discourage theft.
    6. use something like 4-way smart contracts between senders, origin nodes, transporters, intermediate nodes, and destination nodes to incentive each participant to do its part.
    Its a trustless delivery system. Smart lockers. I believe like the ideas expressed in http://www.lexcryptographia.com/ (i bought this domain so make it easier to get to the article) the nodes/transporters would need to be bonded. So they have some skin in the game and not be partial to theft. So maybe you provide the value the item and only those transporters that are bonded for that value get notified.

    This would prevent theft. In case there is an issue, the product is lost or stolen. A third party autonomous agent could easily know that the package was picked up and delivered from one locker to the other within a reasonable amount of time.

    This is pretty amazing idea. Which could integrate the bonding, package IDs (smartskus), etc. etc.

    I would not mind helping you with some visuals. sketch something on paper, scan it and I will make it look great...
  • FlynFlyn Member Posts: 8
    edited February 2014
    @giannidalerta The bonded system that you introduced has several advantages over security deposits. First, as you pointed out, it would simplify the process of screening transporters capable of delivering a package worth a certain declared value. Second, it would make the participation easier for transporters, as they wouldn't have to manage operating capital as actively if individual security deposits for each package handled were not required. Third, if the responsibility to maintain escrow accounts for the transporters' bonded values was outsourced to independent service providers (perhaps other DACs), this could reduce the number of transactions managed by the courier DAC and help offload some of the financial risk onto the independent escrow service providers. I dig the idea!

    The package IDs/smartskus would be another major element that would enable the incorporation of the packages into the envisioned system. It would facilitate tracking, delivery confirmation, and incorporation into smart contracts.

    I'll definitely start working on something that helps convey the concept succinctly. I decided to start a devoted discussion in the Ethereum.org Forum's Projects Category: http://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/468/ethership-distributed-package-delivery-network.

    The project has been christened Ethership.
  • rblackfoxrblackfox Member Posts: 1
    Im interested in where this is going.

    I’m currently working on a project integrating popular e-commerce platforms with large Freight shipping carriers and their respective IT counterparts, and the current technology and strategy I’m working with is... well, in need of drastic improvement ( just isolated application silos where systems interacting were an afterthought).

    As I am setting up these archaic systems, researching their submitted US patents, I’ve just been contemplating the potential that blockchain, smart contracts, RESTful APIs and a MEAN stack could have on integrating the entire supply chain in real time. Also I realize, how far away these big companies are from achieving that style integration.

    I see this post is pretty old. No links to projects. Who has seen some cool projects out there doing this? I mean, this is the kind of logistical stuff that will eventually replace SAP.

    Researching myself I see a few offshoots. I’ll probably reach out.

    For those of you out there into this, I’d love to connect, please reach out.

    I think my e-commerce shipping API extension knowledge and plugin assets Ive built up over the years would be put to good use, perhaps constructing a ERP Logistics platform for the future.

    I can get the basic application and extended web services APIs setup and geared towards integrating all the distributed components from freight to e-commerce system. But I lack the blockchain etherhium development connections to really incorporate it.

    Those who might be able to fill the etherhium gap let me know.

    I’d love to put some time $ and effort into seeing what we could up with. Lets patent this tech.

    Cheers all, love the ideas, best of luck on all of them!

    Let me know how I can help.




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