An NB-IOT-Based E-Commerce Solution to Food Waste from Shipping

Cargo ships are the primary ways of transporting produce across oceans. However, their sensitive nature makes them sensitive to degrading in transit -- resulting in unnecessary waste. About 33% of global fresh produce is thrown away due to their quality degrading during shipment. Additionally, every year, at the US-Mexican border, 35-45 millions pounds of fruits and vegetables are thrown away due to not meeting standards. This hurts both consumers and suppliers alike.

ShipShop is a proposed solution to this problem. Leveraging NB-Internet of Things technology and e-commerce, it provides a new way to protect consumers and enable suppliers in the food importation market. Utilizing both a hardware component powered by Arduino and NB-IOT modules and a software component powered by Node, Angular, MongoDB, and Express, it works in 3 simple steps:

  • Step 1 [Input]: Suppliers create a product page on their shipment and sync the device to it.
  • Step 2 [Bidding]: Prospective buyers can bid on the product shipment by inputting two parameters: their bid amount and their maximum freshness threshold. After the bid winning, it is locked to them.
  • Step 3 [Monitoring/Rebidding]: The order is shipped and monitored by the hardware to provide interested parties with details such as location, humidity, temperature, CO2, and the like. If it falls below a set freshness threshold, the customer can back-out and re-open bidding. Otherwise, it works like a typical B2B ordering site and remains locked to the customer.

ShipShop's open-ended nature allows for many applications that such as:

  • A New Market: ShipShop prevents wastage for suppliers by giving them the opportunity to sell shipments that are at risk of spoilage at stopover ports.
  • Consumer Protection: ShipShop protects consumers by allowing them to back-out of their order if the device senses that it has fallen below a set freshness threshold.
  • Information Tracking: ShipShop autonomously provides information tracking about the status of the contents of a container to suppliers, couriers, and clients alike.

Check out the presentation here:

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