The logistics industry is a world of incompatible systems. While internal processes are managed digitally portrayed, there is still a lack of recognized standards and networked systems for the seamless interaction with partners. Cobility uses state-of-the-art blockchain technology to establish a common industry platform.

Digitization without unwanted dependencies

Online platforms are the marketplaces of today. Here is where offer meets demand and all processes take place in a protected environment. It’s not much different in logistics.

But many companies want to stay in control of their business processes. They do not want to entrust their transaction data to any central system that they have no control over. They want data security and keep sovereignty over their data. They think of an infrastructure without any middleman and all the associated dependencies.

Blockchain technology offers ideal conditions to meet such demands. It is inherently decentral and therefore does not require any centralized data management. And it is inherently secure, creating confidence in reliable processes across multiple business partners. What is missing is an ecosystem with consistent standards and all the tools to map these diverse processes in the logistics industry.

Digitization as a joint task

Cobility is a project of Chainstep, Evan.Network and Xain. Chainstep’s mission is to bring Blockchain to the world of business. Evan develops systems that manage digital identities, enable secure digital transactions, and provide tamper-proof documentation. Xain is the specialist for safe and reliable human/machine interaction.

The headquarters of Chainstep is the Digital Hub Logistics in Hamburg. The other participants in the hub are Hamburg companies that are involved in the digitization of the economy. According to Hanseatic tradition, logistics takes on a leading role in all activities.

The goal of Cobility is a technical infrastructure that can digitally reproduce the still paper-based processes in logistics without the individual company being bound to a specific platform operator. The companies behind the project want to work on this concept in three phases.

The first phase started in November 2018. It consisted of initial workshops where leading players from the logistics sector discussed the possibilities of a standardized blockchain infrastructure and jointly defined initial applications.

The second phase, which started in the second quarter of 2019, will focus on defining the framework conditions for an ecosystem based on blockchain technology for the industry. It is about the formation of committees to bring in different interests and requirements. Above all, it is about forming an industry organization to implement the project, its legal form and funding. Chainstep is the driving force behind all activities, providing the necessary inputs to enable the Cobility project.

The third project phase also started in the second quarter of 2019. Primnary focus is the technical realization of the project. Aim is to develop the first concrete solution elements, to design applications and to define industry-wide standards that will allow the various business partners in the logistics sector to work internally and cross-company with digitally networked processes.

Safe processes without middleman

Cobility uses the Internet as a global communication base for an already globally networked industry. The intention is the cross-company digitization of the logistics industry. The principle of decentralized blockchain technology forms a layer of trust that enables secure transactions without company data need to flow through a central portal operator.

The concept, which emanates from Hamburg, the most important logistics location in Germany, provides the prerequisites for bringing the logistics industry from its still paper-laden present to the digital future. Decisive here is the principle of commonality, which gives all participants a voice and is free of commercial intentions of individuals. Dependencies should be avoided and proprietary systems replaced by open standards, while the data remain with the company.

Cobility should go into the productive phase step by step and be continuously expanded.

As of September 2019

in Numbers

companies as a catalyst and project partners
technology for comprehensive logistics processes
platform operator as intermediary instance

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