CargoX is a firm seeking to disrupt the global shipping process, by replacing the traditional Bill of Lading (B/L) with a smart-contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This will replace the old paper format with a product that is cheaper, faster, transparent and comes with the immutability of a blockchain. By doing this, CargoX could save customers millions of dollars worth of courier fees, and reduce the 400,000 trees used every year in printing traditional B/L and other essential documents. This method would also provide a high level of security, traceability and a more efficient process to archive past transactions – all key issues in the logistics industry.
The global shipping industry is a colossal beast, handling over 80% of the worlds trade. If CargoX can succesfully disrupt this market and obtain a strong customer base, there is no reason they cannot be hugely successful.
At any given moment there are approximately 20 million containers travelling across the oceans, bringing goods from producers to local markets. The total annual global volume is 200 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit = 20’ container). There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. In 2015, for the first time in history, world seaborne trade volumes surpassed 10 billion tons. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
What is a Bill of Lading?
A B/L is a mandatory document that is a requirement for any container that is shipped across the ocean. It is used to claim the container at a destination port, and is therefore equivalent to the value of the shipped goods. If lost or stolen, replacement documentation can be issued, but on average takes over 20 days to be re-issued. If the goods are time-sensitive, this could cause financial loss, breach of contract. cause issues further up a supply chain and damage customer relationships.
CargoX.io have identified three key areas that are particularly applicable to global shipping logistics, that could be improved by utilizing blockchain technology.
1 – Speed
A Bill of Lading must be exchanged between exporters and importers to acknowledge receipt of cargo for a shipment. These paper documents have an average travel time of over a week and could swap between a number of courier services, especially on longer journeys.
2 – Lost Documentation
The longer the journey, the more chance the B/L can be lost or stolen. Replacement documents are not easily obtained as previously mentioned, they are representative of the value the cargo, these can take over twenty days to be reissued.
3 – Cost
Transporting the issued B/L can cost between $100-$180 USD, this can vary depending on exporter charges, couriers used, and distance travelled.
CargoX believes by utilizing blockchain technology they can reduce cost to $10 USD, or the equivalent $CXO token value with a discount. The change of ownership, previously completed by exchange of B/L would be reduced to the transaction time on the dapp (about 20 seconds). Archiving would be free for token holders, and cargo information such as location and temperature data could be incorporated into this. As it’s on the blockchain, there’s no original ‘sending cost’ from firms (usually in the region of $100 USD), and no ability to lose the documentation, it’s its stored on the immutable blockchain. The $10 fee is mostly to cover the cost of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
We know from recent ICOs that firms such as SophiaTX, Modum, OriginTrail and others are looking to utilise blockchain technology within supply chains, and each has a slightly different approach or niche, and at a glance, CargoX looks like another one of these firms. But the whitepaper is extremely clear, they are are a digitised solution to costly B/Ls, not a full solution to supply chain tracking. There is a significant competitor in the shape of IBM, who have partnered with shipping behemoth Maersk to create:
A global trade platform using blockchain technology aimed at improving the cost of transportation, lack of visibility and inefficiencies with paper-based processes
The trailing section of the article’s subtitle is the main concern here. While many potential users of CargoX might not be interested in a global trade platform, if IBM have a section of that platform for dealing with paperless transactions, it could be a serious competitor if available separately.
Since the collaboration started in June 2016, multiple parties have piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A broader group of global corporations have already expressed interest in the capabilities and are exploring ways to use the new platform, including General Motors and Procter and Gamble to streamline the complex supply chains they operate and Agility Logistics to provide improved customer services including customs clearance brokerage.
Some huge firms are listed there, alongside the busiest container port in Europe, Rotterdam. While it is concerning that a tech titan such as IBM are well into the pilot stages, where CargoX only really has a whitepaper – there is one upside. It’s a clear confirmation that potential customers of CargoX believe in the benefits that blockchain can bring to the logistics industry, not only the firms who ship, but the institutions such as U.S. Customs, the Dutch customs authorities, and the ports of Houston and Rotterdam. It’s important to note that 45HC’s (the partner company of CargoX) target market is small to medium sized businesses, to enable them to ship goods from China into Europe – not huge multinational firms such as Dow Chemical.
Token Economics & Utility
The initial token distribution is as the above image. 40% to contributors in the ICO, 25% are locked in the smart contract for 12 months for future development. 15% of tokens will be given amongst the team and founders – these are locked for 12 months with quarterly releases. 10% is reserved for ambassadors and advisers to the firm, with 2% for the bug bounty. 8% is reserved for future partnerships and to incentivise early adoption. The whitepaper states the first 100 logistics companies that partner with CargoX will recieve a portion of tokens, which I would assume is the 8%
The CargoX ICO had a soft cap of $1,500,000 USD, with a hard cap of $7,000,000 USD, with 1 ETH equal to 10,000 $CXO. 40% of total supply was devoted to the ICO. Following the end of the ICO, total supply was listed as 215,119,016 CXO, and at time of publish, the marketcap sits at $38.7 million USD.
An encouraging sign is the token utility is a key part of the whitepaper, something not always seen in ICOs, where often the utility is somewhat of a concern for token holders.
We will issue the CXO token that will be used as a core part of our digitalised business model; it will have multiple intrinsic utilities, such as: system access, payment for usage fees, gas for running Smart B/L contracts, usage incentives, bounty and reward mechanism, access and payment for advanced features (e.g. document archives, logistic and shipping services provided by partners on our platform, personalisation)
The Team & Partner Company
The founder and CEO of CargoX is Stefan Kukman, who is also the CEO of partner company 45HC.com, a container booking platform. He has 10 years of experience, previously working for Kuehne-Nagel – one of the leading leading global freight forwarding companies.
The blockchain developer is Janez Kranjc, who has a Ph.D in computer science, and has much experience authoring and auditing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Peter Merc heads up legal, and is also the lead coordinator of the Blockchain Think Tank, supported by the Ministry of Public Affairs of Slovenia.
The partner company 45HC.com is a container booking platform, that successfully pitched for the ABC Accelerator program then shortly received their first Angel investment. The firm later found a second angel investor, won the PODIM’s Pitch Challenge, became Websi champions, and won the EBAN Winter University competition. It prides itself as being the ‘skyscanner for cargo transport’, and is a transparent, user-friendly platform that provides instant shipping rates for customers from port to warehouse without any hidden fees. The progress of the partner company is an encouraging sign, as while CargoX has no working product of yet, they do:
- Have a wealth of experience in creating a business
- Previously developed tech products
- Obtained private investment before, not leaping straight into ICO as no alternative
- Direct industry experience and contacts they can carry forward
All very encouraging signs that CargoX can deliver a product to a standard they have set out to do, and create a customer base.
The CargoX B/L exchange protocol is on the roadmap as being released in Q1 2018, and in this same quarter a beta sea-freight shipment will also take place. Q2 2018 will see the release of the Smart B/L exchange dApp, and one of the top 10 carriers in sea logistics have been signed for the test trial. The Smart B/L will be issued for a long distance shipment, from Asia to Europe. Q2-4 will see the adoption of first non-vessel operating common carriers, and import/export firms. Future features will be added in 2019, such as accommodating insurance agreements, and other data such as temperature readings.
The CargoX.io website can be found here. Their twitter account is @cargoxio, and you can chat with the Telegram group here. At time of publish, $CXO is only available on one decentralized exchange, IDEX.
As always, this post is not financial advice, please do your own research. The whitepaper can be found here and is well worth the read. I would also recommend reading the FAQ on their site, as it answers some fantastic industry-specific questions around shipping that traditional crypto investors may have not considered.
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As CargoX is just out of ICO, you may have to add it as a custom token in Metamask or MyEtherWallet, details are below.
Contract Address: 0xb6ee9668771a79be7967ee29a63d4184f8097143
Decimal Places: 18