Helium Logistics: How the Blockchain is Changing the Industry

The logistics industry has undergone a massive transformation in recent years.

The killer combination of the eCommerce boom, a global pandemic, a rising population, and changing lifestyle habits has placed new demands on the logistics industry. These demands have triggered a race to adopt new technologies and paradigms that can help logistics companies handle the increased volume of shipments, new demand chains, and faster delivery times.

One major player is Helium blockchain. Read on to discover why Helium blockchain should be your go-to technology for all of your logistics needs. 


Helium Logistics

What is Helium blockchain?

Helium is a blockchain-based network that enables wireless and long-range communication between IoT devices. The Helium network is intended to provide an energy-efficient, low-cost connection for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Helium blockchain rewards hotspot hosts with HNT tokens/cryptocurrencies after they confirm network transactions and new blocks for the blockchain. This incentivizes them to deploy and maintain a network of wireless gateways known as Helium Hotspots.

Helium operates with an open-source IoT network rooted on public LoRaWAN access points. 

The network makes it possible for Helium to be compatible with the majority of trackers readily available in the market.

But, how is this relevant to logistics companies?

Helium logistics changes the game

Since 2016, Helium blockchain has been exponentially embraced by companies worldwide, including companies offering logistics services. Why? For any business to thrive, it must protect all its assets to avoid losses. That's especially true for logistics. 

Helium blockchain, with over 715,000+ and growing Helium Hotspots, makes it easier than ever to track companies' assets. 

  • Asset tracking

Helium blockchain operates with an open-source IoT network rooted on public LoRaWAN access points. 

The network makes it possible for Helium to be compatible with numerous trackers readily available in the market. 

This allows for the continuous monitoring of goods from the point of origin to their intended destination.

  • To secure data sharing and communication.

Fundamentally, logistics companies need to share information about their inventory and shipments with suppliers, CPG companies, customers, and other related parties. And because the data sharing is among different supply chain employees, a company's information can be altered.

In a single logistics ecosystem, information such as shipment routes and schedules, inventory data, and real-time shipment data should be visible to specific employees in the supply chain. 

All of these operations are easily achieved, thanks to Helium logistics.  

Because there can be so many different players involved in shipping a single product from point A to point B, there's an opportunity for information to leak out or be stored incorrectly – leading to counterfeit goods and other issues. 

Data uploaded to the Helium blockchain is immutable and freely accessible, meaning shippers, receivers, and everyone in between can verify logistics information independently and that the information cannot be altered. This fosters trust and accountability. 

See our blog on the blockchain to learn more about how this digital ledger works.

Lines of code laid over a black-and-white photo of a server room
  •  To minimize data overload   

When shipping products from one location to another, you have to record the shipment each time it changes hands between its origin and destination.

Especially when dealing with a huge inventory, record duplication adds up fast, can be cumbersome, and wastes resources. With Helium, logistics companies can neatly and efficiently store transactional data on the blockchain. 

  • To manage supply chain operations. 

Helium blockchain is a suitable solution for supply chain management because it allows companies to monitor the entire supply chain in real-time. 

This means that there are no unused or wasted products in the system, as they can be tracked and traced back to the producer and the specific customer. 

This eliminates fraud practices like the recent counterfeit Egyptian cotton scandal and ensures that each product reaches its destination in good condition.

  •  Helps to adhere to accountability and fair regulation practices

Helium blockchain gives all players in the system access to information regarding their transactions. This includes both sides of the transaction and regulatory bodies, which means that everyone will have access to all relevant information regarding every transaction in the blockchain ecosystem. 

Helium makes it easier for the logistics industry's key players to understand their roles and why they are doing what they are doing at any given moment throughout the day or week. Helium blockchain also allows for the continuous monitoring of goods from the point of origin to their intended destination.  

 Also, every transaction on the blockchain is recorded in a public ledger. The ledger records the entire history of every transaction and can be used to prove that a transaction took place; this makes it easier for regulatory bodies to track down people who are breaking the law or other businesses that are cheating customers.

Helium Blockchain also allows for complete transparency about transactions that take place within the system, which means that customers can see what they are buying or selling and how much they have paid for such items.

  • To reduce transaction processing time and approvals

Blockchain technology has made it possible for companies to process many transactions at once without waiting longer than one second between transactions. 

Helium also helps to make sure that all transactions can be processed as quickly as possible, making it possible for companies to spend less time processing orders and more time on customer service calls and payments. 

  • Operations optimization  

The logistics automation market is estimated to hit an 89.72 billion dollar mark by 2024 since automation has become a key element in optimizing logistical operations. 

Helium blockchain has already leveraged digital solutions to allow software integration for smooth operations in the logistics space. For instance, the TMS software goes a long way in tracking shipments and deliveries in real-time and creating optimized delivery routes to reduce lead times. 

On top of that, Helium logistics helps companies identify mistakes in their operations. 

For example, some trackers go to sleep mode whenever the vehicle stops. Such data helps companies monitor drivers who make inappropriate stops that lead to delayed deliveries and easily rectify such errors.

Factors that make Helium's logistics capabilities useful

Affordable Coverage 

The Helium network provides cheaper and more reliable coverage for all users. 

Anyone can access the network to operate low-power IoT gadgets with Helium Hotspots, whether for resource and fleet management or asset tracking. The hotspot connectivity covers longer distances and comes at a lower price than normal cellular networks.

Helium's infrastructure helps customers track their orders more efficiently in real-time because they don't have to rely on third parties or intermediaries anymore – they only have access to records stored on the Helium blockchain.

Offers more compatibility 

Like many other blockchain networks, Helium comes with its own management platform—called Console.

With Console, you can register, authenticate, and manage your Helium-enabled devices.

The web browser-based platform speeds up the transfer of information from IoT devices to the internet and gives users the ability to manage their devices as well as monitor data transfers and connectivity costs. 

Can help build brand loyalty 

Customer loyalty is among the most important elements in building a brand. Businesses must live up to their customers' expectations and never fail to deliver on their promises to acquire and maintain loyal customers. For instance, late deliveries made by logistics companies may not only make them incur losses but also lose the customers for good. 

Thankfully, Helium is here to help companies with just that.

Helium logistics and tracking technology help assure consumers their goods will reach their destination within stipulated time frames. The trackers come with numerous configured device parameters that can be linked to apps that monitor shipments. Some of these apps come with additional tools that allow communication with customers appraising them on how their delivery is going in real-time. With such tools, a company will surely acquire and maintain loyal customers. 


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How Buffalo Market uses Helium for food distribution

As a food distributor, Buffalo Market is keenly aware of the historical lack of transparency in the industry and how it leads to frustration and disappointment. That’s why one of the primary tenets of Buffalo Market’s business philosophy is to be as transparent as possible, both internally with our team members and externally with our retail and CPG partners.  

To that end, our fleet of delivery trucks is outfitted with Helium-enabled sensors. These sensors allow us to collect and openly share data with our customers. If a store receives a delivery of frozen food, they can trust that our delivery driver kept the product at temperature the entire time it was in transit. How? Because they’re able to freely access the data collected from onboard temperature and humidity sensors on the blockchain.

Using Helium sensors and blockchain technology, Buffalo Market helps foster trust between ourselves and our clients and provides better service based on reliability and accountability.

To learn more about the retail practices that work in 2022 and beyond, check out the rest of the Buffalo Market blog or contact us today!

See an interview between Buffalo Market co-founder, Sean Howell, and Helium's Jacob Swinn here.

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