This is part 2 in a three part series covering the hot topics in logistics tech for 2018 and a preview of 2019. Check out part one here.
2018 was a banner year for logistics technology. Whether we were wrangling with the buzz around blockchain, figuring out how we're going to leverage the power of AI, or marveling at the influx of money into tech, everyone in the industry could feel the increased momentum.
I personally haven't seen this much excitement since the first wave of web portals launched almost two decades ago. Like the heady times of the dot-com boom, there are a lo
t of great things being built, and they're surrounded by a lot of meaningless noise.
Here's a list of some of the biggest trends and technologies in the space with some highly subjective commentary on each one.
Welcome to Episode 2 of Profiles, a podcast centered around supply chain conversations hosted by Brian Glick, founder and CEO of Chain.io.
Our guest this week is Catherine Cooper. Educated as an engineer, Catherine has dedicated her career to the logistics industry with the last 18 years in top leadership positions (CIO of a $1 Billion global logistics service provider and president of two successful consulting firms). She founded World Connections in 2006 where she works with senior executives from Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, and global logistics service providers who partner with Catherine to develop innovative solutions at the intersection of technology and people. Recent clients include QVC, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Gap Inc.
Presenting episode 1 of our new podcast, Profiles by Chain.io. On each episode, we'll interview individuals from the Chain.io partner ecosystem focusing on the human stories of our extended supply chain family.
For our inaugural guest, we have Scott Case, the founder and chief storyteller at Position Global. Scott has been in transportation his whole life, literally. His father worked for a major Japanese freight forwarder before Scott was born, and Scott grew up in customs brokerage and freight forwarding. After graduating from Northwestern University, Scott earned his customs broker's license and as handled air and ocean import and export for his entire life. He served on the NCBFA Board of Directors for Chicago and a number of their committees focusing on air freight, carrier relationships, and freight forwarding.
Originally published September 10, 2018
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in two worlds.
In one world, I go to conferences. I hear about how digitization is going to change everything. Forwarders are being disrupted (and destroyed). Shipments move step by step along a blockchain absent the slightest human intervention. Traceability is perfect. AI predicts and resolves every disruption before it happens.
In the other world, I visit our customers. A Fortune 10 company can’t pay invoices without correlating three PDFs with a printed spreadsheet. A major retailer can’t agree on what constitutes a purchase order number across six divisions. A global freight forwarder emails arrival notices to their own overseas offices.
Originally published July 22, 2018
6 hard earned tips on building a B2B blockchain application.
We started developing Vault by Chain.io last December.
At the time, I may have been caught saying, “Let’s see what we can build on the blockchain. It should only take a few days.” By the time we launched in May, my illusions about what it was going to take to be on the bleeding edge were completely shattered.
If you’re considering building a (1) production strength, stable, B2B application that is (2) backed by blockchain technology and (3) actually delivers business value, then this post will help you calibrate your expectations.
Do you have a gas leak?
Since it’s dangerous, we add a stink to it using a chemical called mercaptan. It smells like rotten eggs. We all know that smell. We’ve been trained since childhood to react to it. Rotten eggs smell = danger. Now imagine a world where we added smells to everything: