This May, IATA OneRecord decided to host a hybrid hackathon with DCSA in Amsterdam. So the options were to either attend remotely or get there on site. The purpose of the hackathon was to identify sustainable solutions and multimodality for the cargo industry. With the pandemic finally having passed, we were definitely not going to participate remotely. That’s why – after long conversations and planning – we immediately booked plane tickets and decided to send our team there . The organizers wanted innovative solutions and we could not resist that as it was right in our wheelhouse! Everything should be fun and easy, right?

Our trip there was effortless as none of our team members missed the flight, no one got into any fights before the start of our hackathon, and – to our recollection – no one got into a fight during the hackathon. There might have been some nausea occurring, but as we see it, it was the organizers and their bar policy’s fault. Plus we even got to experience some of Amsterdam’s culture first hand and enjoy it. 

The primary goal for our team was to create an awe-inspiring app which would surely win us a prize at the hackathon. What is more, we wanted to discover and learn about new technologies we could use to improve our products. But most importantly we wanted to have fun. Clearly we were all highly motivated and keen to both develop new applications with the aforementioned technologies and learn new skills. There may also have been other motivations of getting our senior developer a new bass guitar with the prize money. Our Esimies (eng. boss/supervisor) might want to start a band because of his new hobby. As his #1 fans, we wanted to support this.

Vedia Keeping Pollution In-check

The name of our solution was Vedia Keeping Pollution In-check, short KPI, which compares different types of multi-modal transport chain emissions, books shipments, shares the shipment data via IATA One Record and helps these shipments cross international borders faster. This solution is something we aim to further develop in the future and bring value to customers worldwide.

Keeping Pollution In-check compares multi-modal routes for cargo and helps users select more sustainable alternatives for transport based on the carbon footprint of each of the options. Following, once the user has chosen their decided route, KPI creates the shipment order in IATA OneRecord. The shipment information is then updated and tracked via OneRecord which creates events based on sensor information (location, temperature).

At the hackathon we worked in conjunction with team Happy Salmon from Accelya and provided them access to our data in OneRecord and two-way communication between two nodes within OneRecord.

Customs application

In addition to the booking app, we have created an application for customs officials controlling international borders. The border crossing app fetches shipment data from OneRecord and displays this data to the officials working on the border. As a result of being able to view shipment data – i.e. the related waybill and events – already before it reaches the border, the customs official can enable cargo to pass through borders more quickly. In our demo use case, in order for the shipment to keep moving, the user has to give the permission in order for it to pass the border. This way our implementation simulates communication between businesses and authorities by leveraging the OneRecord.

The demo system simulates a shipment in transport by creating new events every few seconds for which each time an hour passes. This creates location events which are necessary for demonstrating the progress of the shipment.

The verdict

Creating the technical solution proved to be hard work. We had our issues, but through hard work we managed to overcome any challenge which came our way. Our by far biggest success was the proof of concept of our OneRecord server integration which proved to our sales team – and ourselves – that we would be able to do it. Even if you are not interested in our solution, we highly recommend checking it out and see how much fun it is to work with us. To see more of our demo and what our solution is capable of, watch our submissions video for the project here.  

Unfortunately we did not win any monetary prizes. The high skill level of the other teams and their great solutions were hard to beat. With the profound knowledge they possessed regarding this area of the industry, we did not stand a chance. On the contrary, what we stood a chance in was the social media prize – and having fun – which we absolutely crushed the competition. We utilized everything ranging from images of the action to accelerating videos. So if you want to see the fun we had first hand, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

So what we brought home in the end were the memories of a great experience, new knowledge and an even better team spirit. We also received lots of swag and Henk Mulder’s identity. Unfortunately we did not leave with a bass guitar, which our Esimies is really sad about. What happened in Amsterdam, definitely did not stay in Amsterdam. 

As we say in Finnish; Leijonat oli söpöjä.
As we say in Finnish; Leijonat oli söpöjä.

Overall the trip was a great success, even if not all the goals we set for ourselves were met. Still, the most important victory was the fact that I was able to see the lions in the zoo of Amsterdam and they were, in my opinion, cute. 

Joonas Malinen

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