May 17, 2020

Container company Skycell to accept cryptocurrency payments for services

supply chain cryptocurrency
shipping supply chain
container currency
Technology
James Henderson
3 min
Skycell has said it will accept cryptocurrency for all of its service, effective immediately
Temperature controlled container company Skycell has revealed that it will accept cryptocurrency payments for its services, effective immediately.

The...

Temperature controlled container company Skycell has revealed that it will accept cryptocurrency payments for its services, effective immediately.

The firm, which is part of Swiss-based Smart Containers Group, said the innovation aims to accelerate transaction times for clients, and marks a decisive step towards further integrating blockchain technologies into the logistics industry.

“At SkyCell AG we aim to put three core principles into practice – innovation, reliability, and sustainability. These three tenets have helped us to establish ourselves as one of the top four providers of Pharma containers in the industry,” said Richard Ettl, CEO and Co-Founder of Smart Containers Group.

“We have recognised the dramatic potential of blockchain technology in transforming the logistics and pharmaceutical industries and are proud to be an early-adopter within the sector,”

Smart Containers Group’s said its decision to accept cryptocurrencies as payment is geared towards expediting processing times and minimising costs for clients, making more traditional payment methods, which “rely on third-parties and are often unavoidably tedious and expensive as a result, obsolete”.

The instantaneous nature of transactions conducted using cryptocurrency will also serve to minimise the effects of fluctuating currency exchange rates – which can heavily impact payments made in a number of global currencies as a result of elongated processing times.

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“From our experience within the logistics, pharmaceutical, and food industries – we have first-hand experience of the difficulties which payments processes can pose to clients,” said Etti.

“Often, banking fees can make up as much as 5% of invoice value, with traditional transfers taking up to 90 days, meaning payments alone are very costly both financially and in terms of efficiency. By introducing the possibility of conducting transactions through cryptocurrency, Smart Containers Group will reduce payment processes to a matter of minutes, while cutting out third party handling fees entirely.”

All SkyCell AG invoices will include the possibility to settle the invoice in cryptocurrency, giving customers the option of paying in BTC or ETH, as well as EUR, USD, and CHF.

All exchange rates will be taken from Bitstamp at the moment of transfer, negating the issue of fluctuating exchange prices which plague the current marketplace.

Customers conducting payments in BTC or ETH will also enjoy a 2% discount on all invoices for SkyCell AG services – further compounding the benefits which cryptocurrency payments can accrue.

“For SkyCell AG, accepting payments in cryptocurrency is the first step in automatising the payments process, and complements our long-term vision of providing fully autonomous containers of the future, which will administer themselves entirely based on smart contract technology,” said Etti.

“The logistics industry has been characteristically slow to implement and adopt transformative technologies and we hope that by embracing change, others may follow suit so that the industry as a whole will benefit.”

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Jul 31, 2021

RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to a proactive supply chain

Supplychain
Technology
RFID
IoT
Jill West, Vice President Stra...
4 min
RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to shifting supply chain’s technology adoption from reactive to proactive in the post-pandemic era

Across supply chains around the world, we have seen leading companies rely heavily on technologies like AI and IoT during the pandemic. These digital solutions have enabled businesses to accurately capture and ultimately use their own first-party data to drive efficiencies and protect increasingly fragile bottom lines.

However, what is less commonly known is the increasing role of RAIN RFID technology in supporting IoT solutions. By using RAIN RFID to capture item data and then feed that data into AI systems, businesses can identify inefficiencies within the supply chain and make informed decisions.

What is RAIN RFID?

In short, RAIN RFID is a powerful IoT technology that enables itemised data collection. By applying small, battery-free tags to items, organisations can identify, locate, and authenticate each of those items, scanning up to thousands of items simultaneously with a variety of devices, including hand-held, fixed and wearable readers.

RAIN RFID solutions dramatically improve the operational capabilities of an organisation by ensuring they have exactly the right items, in the right quantities, at the right locations, at the right time. During the pandemic, RAIN RFID solutions have been key to limiting disruptions in retail and manufacturing supply chains, most notably by increasing inventory and asset visibility and improving the management and flow of goods. 

Three ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns

RAIN RFID is used to streamline processes, maintain real-time inventory, increase productivity, and help manage labour shortages. We see three key ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns:

  1. Automate shipment verification: Today, significant labour is required for multiple, manual barcode scans during the shipment process. RAIN RFID tags can be read automatically without a direct line of sight, erasing the need for workers to pause, locate a barcode, and scan it. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate their shipment verification process and improve warehouse efficiencies by up to 25%.
  2. Deliver real-time visibility: Retail Systems Research says that 76% of supply chain survey respondents reported that real-time inventory visibility was their leading focus for improving performance. When supply chain managers lack information about the status of assets and shipments moving into and out of warehouses, confidence and productivity suffer. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders gain real-time visibility into an item’s identity, usage, and location. With this information, they can quickly find inventory and assets, and reduce the cost of asset investments. 
  3. Improve order accuracy: Today, companies rely on redundant manual checks to verify that the right cartons are loaded onto the correct pallets. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate pallet build verification to streamline the process and increase order accuracy. In fact, a recent study by Auburn University found that RAIN RFID can help an organisation achieve up to 100% order accuracy, eliminating claims costs and unhappy customers.  

RAIN RFID can increase value of AI-powered analytics

In today’s AI-driven, rapid decision-making business environment, RAIN RFID is uniquely capable of making systems more effective. This is because it provides item identifiers for tracking and locating billions of items, from clothing to food, pharmaceuticals, tools, packages, pallets, and more.

It also works without line-of-sight, providing visibility into places and processes not previously available. The data provided by a RAIN RFID system can give AI-powered solutions the ability to see individual items throughout the supply chain, understand how the entire supply chain is functioning and identify which areas can be improved. 

As companies accelerate digital transformation, we expect to see a rise in interconnected data as investments into new technologies and IoT surge. But as the volume of real-time and accurate data about the movement of goods rises, so too do the demands on operations teams to make sound business decisions quickly and with confidence, often using AI-powered systems that thrive on improved data to make better decisions. 

As an example, over the past several years, Delta Airlines transformed its customer experience by investing in technology including real-time RAIN RFID bag tracking and automatic check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app. Delta is now leveraging this set of investments in their implementation of an AI-driven platform that analyses millions of operational data points, from luggage movement to aircraft positions to flight crew restrictions to airport conditions. This system simulates operating challenges and creates hypothetical scenarios that help Delta’s professionals make critical operational decisions that improve the overall customer experience.  

Looking forward

The need to drive digital transformation rapidly during the pandemic has made supply chain and logistics professionals increasingly tech savvy. As we prepare for a post-pandemic era, companies’ increased know-how and awareness of solutions like RAIN RFID, IoT and AI will play a key role in evolving the industry’s approach to solving supply chain issues from reactive to proactive, setting them up for future success.

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