How do you take your coffee? With Blockchain and AI of course
It is safe to conclude that one of the biggest trends and buzzwords surrounding supply chain management the past six months is blockchain technology. Now we are starting to see the trend move from theory into practice. Bext360, a company based in Denver, Colorado just received $1.2 million in funding for its project aimed at improving the flow of coffee along the supply chain using blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. The end goal is to bring about more fairness for coffee farmers. Many communities that depend on the coffee industry often have to settle for low prices and delayed payments from supply chain partners.
Bext360’s product uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to process and evaluate the quality of beans, a procedure that is currently conducted manually by buyers. Through the use of a mobile app, buyers can view the bean evaluations and make offers directly to farmers. Farmers can then accept offers and the payments and credits are completed using Stellar.org. The Stellar platform helps bring companies, farmers and co-ops together to encourage data transparency. The decentralized protocol allows farmers to be paid in real-time and all parties can see the timestamps, value and amount of specific transactions that take place.
Read more on Bext360’s new AI and blockchain endeavor here.
Post Office vs. Automakers
After having its production plans for an electric delivery vehicle rejected by conventional automakers, Deutsche Post DHL Group of Germany decided to take on the challenge of building the automobile itself. The company was able to produce its electric StreetScooter without incurring any major engineering costs. The goal of the new delivery vehicles was to keep emissions low while the e-commerce market booms. Needless to say, the Streetscooter has proven to be a major success, as the company announced plans to add an additional manufacturing plant in order to double its annual output. As a result of this expansion, 20,000 electric delivery vans are expected to hit the market by the end of 2017. While the vans were initially intended for internal use, the German logistics group has now decided to sell the vehicles to third-party buyers. It is expected that half of the 20,000 vans that will be produced will be sold to other companies. Deutsche Post DHL Group plans on executing the sales to third party buyers itself, and will build out its infrastructure to include 400 garages for repairs and maintenance.
Read more about the StreetScooter project here.
A week of logistics news without Amazon…No way!
This week, Amazon made waves in the hydrogen fuel cell space by announcing its intentions to invest $600 million in fuel cell innovator Plug Power. The goal is to create a new generation of hydrogen-powered forklifts and other warehouse equipment. These machines will have zero emissions and are intended to support the company’s operations in fulfillment centers. With Amazon providing momentum to the hydrogen fuel cell movement, other industries are expected to jump on board. For example, auto manufacturers, who have been slow to develop and adapt the technology, may suddenly regain interest as a result of Amazon’s announcement.
One major advantage of fuel cell forklifts is the charging time: battery powered forklifts require a significant amount of charging time while fuel cell machines can be charged within minutes. This is an extremely important time and cost saving factor. Forklifts appear to be only the beginning of a long relationship between Plug Power and Amazon.
Read more about Amazon’s recent investment here.
Have a great weekend!
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