Digital consignment tracking to enable simpler, cheaper and more efficient trade processes.


The PROGRESS Digital Trade Testbed (Physical assuRance fOr diGital tRadE SyStems (PROGRESS)) project aims to develop a core capability for testing the physical assurance of digital trade systems by tracking the physical location and transit of consignments and enabling interoperability with international digital trade data-handling systems.

Why is this important?

A truly digital supply chain management system requires reliable links between the physical state, the location of consignments and the digital representation of each. Besides, the physical assurance of location, origin, and condition of physical supplies is a critical element of efficient, sustainable, and ESG-compliant supply chains.

 What will this project involve?

 This testbed will enable us to mimic the movement and treatment of goods in anticipation of including such innovation in integrated digital environments in the future.

 The testbed will also support testing by partners including HMRC to inform tax and future policy delivery. To create a usable system, PROGRESS will provide a testing ground for the hardware, software and other infrastructure that are required to map multiple data sources into actionable insights. PROGRESS will be demonstrated in a controlled environment because it is almost impossible to test across international trade routes at this early stage.

Therefore, the consortium will create a 5G-enabled testbed for digital trade at Teesside International Airport, which is part of the wider Tees Valley Freeport. Teesside Freeport is Britain’s first operational and largest Freeport, comprising an airport and deep seaport. This unique offering will allow PROGRESS to model transit use cases for future capabilities and scalability.

Who is involved?

The project is led by the ICC Centre for Digital Trade (C4DTI). C4DTI will ensure that the testbed aligns with current regulations and policy guidelines. C4DTI will also identify potential commercial opportunities for the technology being developed in the testbed, and for helping to develop strategies to bring it to market. This may include working with industry partners, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify potential use cases, and to develop partnerships and collaborations to help bring the technology to market.

 Teesside University will develop the processes to track consignment across virtual trade zones on the airport site utilising geofences and integrate the IoT tracking capabilities with cloud-based analytics and processing.

 Digital Catapult will work with TVCA on assessing the 5G connectivity in the airport and lead on the consignment tracking phase, to develop a specification for tracking consignments within the trade zones.

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