Sharing IoT events with a webhook API – our IATA One Record hackathon experience

At Hookie Solutions, we have spent the last 10 months working evenings and weekends to get webhookie out to market. So what better way to launch the product than by spending yet another weekend entering a hackathon! That’s a good idea… right?!

To be honest the opportunity was too good to pass on. With several of us having backgrounds working with the energetic and talented people at IATA, and with some good friends in air cargo, the IATA One Record Hackathon seemed like a great place to start telling people about webhookie.

And after a chat with Finnair Cargo and Ospentos, we found a topical problem that we had to tackle…

The biopharma industry loses approximately $35 billion annually as a result of failures in temperature-controlled logistics*

That’s right, that is a lot of life-saving medicine and vaccine destroyed. How can that be? Carriers are paid a premium to ensure these shipments are transported within the right temperatures. The temperature and conditions are measured in trucks, planes, warehouses to ensure the right temperature is maintained. So how do we end up with so much waste of such an important asset?

Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few reasons which include:

  • The temperature as measured in the hull of the plane, warehouse, or container can be different from the temperature in the box
  • The in-between periods in transport where for example containers can sit on the tarmac for periods (either in freezing or boiling conditions) when there are congestion or logistics issues
  • And a host of other issues that can happen in logistics such as delays and accidents.

And fundamentally, out of all the measurements taken during the transport, the only measurement that matters is the sensor inside the box. If that says the temperature either went below or over the thresholds, regardless of what the carrier’s equipment has stated, the medicine will be destroyed and a claim will be pursued.

Using a webhook API to share IoT events

The adoption of IoT sensors connected to a 4G/5G network is growing and with that comes the opportunity to get real-time updates. However, notifying these events to just one party or system often limits their value.

As it does with temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments. There are usually multiple carriers and handlers of the shipments throughout its journey. So in order for this real-time information to be truly valuable – i.e. so that it prevents medicine or vaccine from needing to be destroyed – then the information needs to get to the party handling the event at that moment.

That’s where sharing them via webhook API makes sense. A discoverable, self-service webhook API makes it easy for shippers to share their IoT events with their carriers. Carriers can set up their subscription in minutes and if the data being shared is a standard, such as IATA’s One Record, they can integrate that data into their operational systems and control towers with minimal effort.

Our entry in the IATA One Record Hackathon 2021

And that’s what we did – we simulated an IoT device and shared the events from the device with webhookie which made them available as a webhook API . We set up two subscribers to the API and demonstrated how easy it was to subscribe to the data. We then plotted the events on a map and table using a simple UI to simulate a control tower a carrier would use.

Was it worth the extra weekend?

Most definitely, it was a great event, well organized, we managed to show of webhookie, have some fun and as a complete bonus… well, we won a prize! Oh yeah!

Watch our video entry here

* Failures in temperature-controlled logistics cost biopharma industry billions – Air Cargo News

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