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Vodafone’s IoT blockchain used for cargo tracking with Aventus integration


Vodafone’s Digital Asset Broker (DAB) subsidiary is partnering with the Aventus  blockchain network to work on tracking cargo pods using IoT. While Vodafone still owns 80% of the ‘Economy of Things’ business, DAB was spun out as a join venture with Sumitomo Corporation earlier this year.

At the heart of DAB is a simple SIM card which is embedded in a device. It becomes a DAB SIM with the addition of a DAB IoT identity passport. In this particular use case, as a cargo pod moves around, data can be logged on the blockchain layer with Vodafone describing it as a blockchain of blockchains.

In yesterday’s announcement, one of the many blockchains with which DAB is integrating is the Aventus Network, a parachain on the public Polkadot network. Each parachain has its own validators, and Vodafone will become a validator on the Aventus network.

Aventus already provides a blockchain solution to Heathrow Airport for managing devices to track luggage, freight and mail. Between 5% and 10% of cargo pods are lost annually at a cost of up to $400 million. We believe that figure relates to damage and loss of just the cargo pods themselves, known as Unit Load Devices (ULD), rather than the far higher cost of lost cargo.

“Through our strategic partnership with Aventus, we can help businesses and third-party providers securely adopt, and benefit from, Web3 services through the Vodafone DAB platform,” said Jorge Bento, CEO of Vodafone DAB. “Addressing the needs of the airlines is a start, and we look forward to exploring many other opportunities with Aventus.”

This isn’t the first time blockchain has been used to track cargo pods. Three years ago, the industry body SITA ran a blockchain trial to keep tabs on Unit Load Devices.

Vodafone is also targeting the automotive sector with its Sumitomo alliance. It envisions applications ranging from pay-as-you-drive car rentals, electric vehicle charging, or toll payments for fleets.

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