Ericsson Logistics Challenge
Come up with a solution that can help and detect fraudulent shipments in supply chains in order to avoid unsustainable and inhumane conditions taking place in production
Originally published for Hack for Impact @Norrsken House 2019
Louise Hultén & team
We live in a world where buying anything from anywhere in the world is just a click away. This mass consumption culture not only has an impact on the environment, there is a dark underbelly that is not so easily visible thanks to the complex ecosystem that is required to transport our goods. At the very heart of our favorite everyday items, whether it is your phone or laptop, are minerals that are mined with enormous negative impacts on society and the environment. Fortunately, the logistics industry in all its’ complexity is changing – digitalization, electrification, e-commerce, industry 4.0, and authorities demanding more transparency and new regulations with regards to emissions.
Each good is making its way from natural resource, to production via warehouses to consumers – a long and sometimes winding journey. It is hard to imagine it, but the source of these minerals could be a mine in a Conflict Region, where children are forced to work and earn less than $2 for the 24 hours they spend digging underground. These mines are often controlled by the armed militia, who use the money to finance the violence and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the 1990s and still use sexual violence as a “weapon of war”. Other vital minerals, known as rare earth minerals, are almost exclusively sourced and processed in mines in China where the environmental impact has poisoned water supplies and physically mutated farm animals.
Not all mines have such terrible conditions, but since each mineral is mined in many different parts of the world and then transported and processed in other locations, a non-transparent supply chain can be exploited to sell irresponsibly mined minerals labeled as responsibly mined. The recipients of the logistics data throughout the supply chain need useful and trustworthy programs to inform about the location, origin and journey of their goods – and whether some of their supply nodes need overseeing. This would enable actions to ensure human rights are not violated and improve the work with labor standards, environmental management and anti-corruption.
To come up with a solution to enable transformation of the logistics industry, we formulated the following needs:
Need for an open standard technology model that is adaptable and easy to integrate with legacy IT systems and work processes.
Need for a decentralized concept that allows competing solutions in all dimensions. A monopoly is not acceptable for most players in this environment.
Need for security, data privacy and confidentiality, where data owners remain completely in control of their shared data at all time.
In our opinion there is one technology that fits these requirements: the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) open standards of the internet.
Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers. Ericsson ONE is the place in the company where ideas are made. Think of us as a toolbox for game-changing ideas or as an innovation greenhouse, designed to make exploration of disruptive technology and ideas easy. Together with stakeholders we have started the Internet of Logistics. With the goal to enable real-time visibility and paperless processes, where any player can participate within seconds.
- Ericsson Connected Logistics Solutions
- How Ericsson work with responsible sourcing
- Responsible Minerals Initiative to understand how they, and similar initiatives work.
- The trends that drive change in logistics
- The digital transformation in logistics
- IATAs ONE-Record project to enable digital cargo
- The Digital Transport & Logistics Forum
Your challenge is to come up with a solution that can help detect fraudulent shipments. A solution that can, based on information sharing, alert or detect suspicions behaviors or happenings. Aside allowing players to act on specific shipments, it also enables players to put pressure on each other to share information, which in turn empowers parties to impact supply chains to the better, both ethics and environmentally wise.
All players active in global logistics chains.
This challenge focuses on the Sustainability Development Goals:
- Responsible Consumption and Production (no 12)
# conflictminerals #connectedlogistics #ericssonONE #SDG
Your solution to this challenge can make a huge contribution to a more resilient society as weather starts changing and impacting us more. Ericsson will have a close look at all entries and support you in finding a way forward if interesting to both parties. Without any promise - it could be everything in between a stand-alone solution and an integration in our systems and processes.
Ericsson will provide access to their platform for the participants of the hackathon.
Swedish Transport Administration has open data that could be useful, you find it here.