The Smart Containers proposition is highly unusual in the ICO arena for two reasons. Firstly, it is a pre-established, successful business dating from 2013 and which claims to be one of the largest players in its specific niche – temperature-sensitive perishable goods long-distance transportation.
Secondly, the proposition is really an assembly of three independent business models which can be summarised as follows:
- Expansion of SkyCell, the pharmaceutical arm of Smart Containers Group
- Expansion of FoodGuardians, the perishable goods arm of Smart Containers Group
- A general logistics platform for goods requiring transportation over large distances.
For the first two items on the list, Smart Containers plans to organise a token – SMARC – which will entitle holders to a share in 20% of all net profits achieved by both SkyCell and FoodGuardians – including an equivalent share in the proceeds arising from any potential exit sale in the future.
The third item on the list will concern a separate token, LOGI, which will serve as the utility token of what the project team is hoping will become the world’s leading logistics facilitation platform for any business requiring import/export services for goods requiring refrigeration over long distances.
The white-paper is entirely focused on the business model propositions outlined above. Aside from some general technical outlines of the project – both tokens, SMARC and LOGI, will be Ethereum-based – there is no specific discussion of the implementation, although the authors do indicate that their eventual platform will require both a public blockchain (Ethereum) for public data and a private blockchain (Fabric) for non-public data.
Temperature-controlled containers are a niche industry, and not one without their problems. According to the WP, the World Health Organization ” … estimates the percentage of degraded vaccines due to temperature deviation during transport at 40%.” For the world’s ten leading pharameutical companies, this amounts, on average, to a loss of USD 250M in revenues.
There is a similar problem affecting the long-distance food transportation industry, with “millions of tons of avoidable perishable wasted along the food supply chain,” according to the National Institutes of Health, who add that “a considerable share of these losses is caused by non-optimal cold chain processes and management.”
This is where Smart Containers believe they have an edge – they claim to have patent-protected insulation technology which provides maximal heat rebound whilst minimising heat conduction. Access to the specific details of those patents have not been rendered public, but are available to any investor planning to inject a sum greater than USD $250k into the project upon signature of an associated non-disclosure agreement.
After just over five years in the industry, Smart Containers now sits as the number four player globally in temperature-sensitive goods distribution, and has several strategic partnerships in place including with Emirates and Cargolux.
The general objective of both the SMARC and LOGI tokens is to finance blockchain-based and IoT-leveraging solutions which streamline the workflow associated with long-distance temperature-sensitive goods distribution: steps ranging from customs documentation and health and safety ordonnance through to transportation, tracking, invoicing and licensing. Development of the LOGI platform will be entirely open-source and collaborative; SMARC will be in-house.
The white-paper also comes with a corresponding two page summary sheet which may serve as a more gentle introduction to the project.
No explicit road map is provided in the white-paper. However, potential investors should understand that the project team will be developing all three strands of the business – SkyCell, FoodGuardians and LOGI – simultaneously. Platform development is expected to last at least three years.
Generally, to judge the potential future success of any ICO, two elements need to be considered – the token sale and the prospects for product adoption.
For the token sale aspect, naturally what complicates matters for any reviewer here is that there are in fact two simultaneous (albeit independent) token sales taking place. The success of one does not imply success for the other. And vice versa.
The LOGI proposition has a lower hard cap – $4m USD – and, on that basis alone, is likely to be the more successful of the two. However, its subsequent success will then depend on the eagerness of the wider logistics industry to participate in this kind of project – a difficult call for any outsider to make.
The $36m USD hard-cap that is being targeted for the SkyCell / FoodGuardians strand of the business is a much more ambitious venture. However, given that this is a priori an established and successful business, it is likely that there will be a range of private investors lining up to register their interest.
Presence on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Youtube – is modest to say the least. However, our feeling is that this is not a project that needs to depend on widespread public interest generated through traditional social media channels, as so many ICOs do. This is an investment-grade project and our suspicion is that there will be sufficient interest from private investors, venture capital and from within the logistics industry itself to satisfy the project’s requirement for outside capital.
The logo could have benefited from a little bit more creative effort.
The project team provides full transparency. Firstly, there are strong Linkedin profiles which indicate a headline team with an established track record. Secondly, the team has put itself in front of a camera to help spread its message. This is a team that ranks amongst the highest that we have seen for both credibility and previous track record.
This is an extremely unusual ICO for the very simple reason that the proposition is being made on the back of an existing and successful business model which is now proposing a migration to a blockchain-based solution which makes for a perfect blockchain fit.
This is a niche industry crying out for improvement, and the people behind Smart Containers are now trying to leverage the advantages brought by blockchain technology to propose such improvements. The prospects of success simply appear to boil down to the ability of the team to pull off a successful execution – and if past success is any indicator of potential for future success, the prospects seem particularly strong for this project.