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Launch Webinar Q&A Responses

Using Virtual Courier

Virtual Courier was born from the transit disruptions during the pandemic. As Annika, Articheck’s CEO, began to realize the long term effects the pandemic would have, she decided to develop a product that would not only address shipment concerns in the short term but create a new standard for reducing risk during movement.

Articheck has both an iOS and web app. You can use Virtual Courier via our iOS app on iPhone and iPad. Virtual Courier also works on any device via the browser with our web app – any computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Certainly, Virtual Courier is flexible enough to fit your particular project’s needs. Whether you are working with bookend courier, traditional couriers, or trusted partners, anyone can be given access to a Virtual Courier group and complete checks that are entered into the permanent history of project and the object itself.

As of our next update to the software coming in the next week, there will be no maximum file size, though if very large files interfere with the system we may need to impose an extreme upper limit. If you are testing Virtual Courier before next week, the current limit is 100MB which equates to 5 to 6 minutes of video on most smartphones. 

Yes, our iOS app currently has offline functionality for condition reports and object checks. In the coming weeks we will add offline functionality for transit checks, group documents, and Proof of Delivery/Collection.

The current default for Virtual Courier groups is 30 days. We can make exceptions on a case by case basis, especially in the face of a global pandemic. Please get in contact if you have a project that requires more than 30 days one way for road or air freight. Additionally, we are developing a sea freight option which will account for longer transit times. 

Virtual Courier data is stored indefinitely in our system after the completion of an active credit. You can activate more credits to use the same group in the future or keep the group as a permanent record of the move. You and those you shared the group with will continue to have view access to the group but cannot update it without credit.

Virtual Courier data is available indefinitely in our system after the completion of an active credit. records. You and those you shared the group with will continue to have view access to the group but cannot update it without credit. 

 

To make changes, you can either activate more Virtual Courier credits to use the same group again for another shipment or your organization can subscribe to Articheck to update the individual object records. Articheck monthly subscriptions are available if you don’t require the services on a permanent basis.

All users to whom the Virtual Courier group has been shared will have indefinite view access to the group post project unless the admin organization revokes that access. In addition, users have the ability to export PDFs or a CSV of all condition reports for objects in that group. If you are interested in more export formats, please get in touch.

As a partner in the Virtual Courier process, you will have indefinite view access to the group post project unless the admin organization revokes that access, although we will probably advise to minimise carbon footprint that videos are deleted at a reasonable point. In addition, you have the ability to export PDFs or a CSV of all condition reports for objects in that group. If you have interest in any other format, please get in touch.

As a partner in the Virtual Courier process, you will have indefinite view access to the group post project unless the admin organization revokes that access, although we will probably advise to minimise carbon footprint that videos are deleted at a reasonable point. In addition, you have the ability to export PDFs or a CSV of all condition reports for objects in that group.

Virtual Courier Pricing

The price of Virtual Courier is per shipment one way. A road transit is one credit (£200 for customers or through a distributor, £250 for non-customers) and air freight is two credits (£400 for customers or through a distributor, £500 for non-customers). Each shipment can include up to 300 objects.

You can ship up to 300 works in one group with one credit. A road transit is one credit (£200 for customers or through a distributor, £250 for non-customers) and air freight is two credits (£400 for customers or through a distributor, £500 for non-customers).

Yes, you can share the group with unlimited partners who are granted unlimited usage during the period the credit is active, and can view it thereafter until you revoke their access.

Security

Our data is stored in Amazon Web Services cloud servers in Ireland, which is the industry leading provider of secure cloud services. AWS supports more security standards and compliance certifications than any other offering, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, GDPR, FIPS 140-2, and NIST 800-171, helping customers satisfy compliance requirements for virtually every regulatory agency around the globe. AWS is also utilized by various government authorities and financial institutions worldwide. For more information, please visit https://aws.amazon.com/security/.

From our Data Security Protocols Documentation:

  1. All data must be transmitted over encrypted channels such as HTTPS over SSL.
  2. All users must have passwords to protect their accounts. We recommend that users use strong passwords.  Users have 2-factor authentication enabled to encourage usage of this security feature.
  3. Users must be limited to accessing data created by their organisation, or data explicitly shared with their user account.
  4. Organisations are able to determine the access level of their users to limit the amount of organisational data that the user has access to view and/or change. Organisations are recommended to implement a policy of least privilege.
  5. Permissions to shared data can be granted to a user and removed from a user. Users are recommended to implement a policy of least privilege for data they have shared with other users.
  6. Unauthorized access to data is prohibited.

Regarding tampering risks, the above reduces risk considerably especially when compared to current alternatives, of photos to emails, whatsapp, facetime, zoom, etc, not just in terms of tampering but also selling of data points employed by eg Facebook, who own whatsapp. Zoom has also recently determined NOT to encrypt data on their free accounts.

Articheck data is encrypted as it travels between the local device and the server with 128-bit encryption. All user accounts are protected by both passwords, and two factor authentication. For further information about security of our cloud servers please see the answer to the question above. 

ParceLive devices transmit data across Hanhaa’s own private cellular network, Hanhaa XG, utilising the common security standards set out for mobile network connections. There is a direct interconnect between the core and the ParceLive portal eliminating the need for the data to ever cross the public network. Once in the portal system the customer’s data is only accessible via secure connections using industry standard OAuth 2.0. These security implementations allow Hanhaa to offer its customers end to end security.

There is currently no limit to the number of images you can upload to a report. We do recommend that more detailed reports with 50+ images be uploaded on a strong wifi connection. 

Virtual Courier and the Articheck system as a whole allows you to manage a variety of permissions for your team and partners. You can manage view, update and share permissions for the group, documents and objects, as well as limiting accesses to past versions of condition reports.

Virtual Courier & Articheck Features

There is currently no limit to the number of images you can upload to a report. We do recommend that more detailed reports with 50+ images be uploaded on a strong wifi connection. 

Virtual Courier and the Articheck system as a whole allows you to manage a variety of permissions for your team and partners. You can manage view, update and share permissions for the group, documents and objects, as well as limiting accesses to past versions of condition reports.

All signatures are date stamped and GPS location stamped.

Currently our system saves all timestamping data based on our servers’ location in Ireland, but only displays the month, day and year to you, the user. Our next step is to add UTC timestamps to each piece of the record. We will then adjust the timestamps so they reflect the local time zone. We will apply this retroactively.

Virtual Courier allows for the creation of Installation or Packing checks on the object level that act as video instructions for the partner or bookend courier completing the corresponding action at the destination. Another Installation, Unpacking, or similar check can then be performed at the destination to demonstrate the instructions have been followed correctly. With a wifi or cellular data connection these checks are available instantly to all parties with access to the Virtual Courier group. All of these checks have much higher quality video than video calling services which trade video quality for audio clarity. This workflow is particularly valuable for projects that have partners in multiple time zones. We are also adding the ability to require approval for a check before the project can proceed.

With Virtual Courier you can record onsite or upload pre-recorded video to group and object checks. With a wifi or cellular data connection these checks are available instantly to all parties with access to the Virtual Courier group. All of these checks have much higher quality video than video calling services which trade video quality for audio clarity. We are also adding the ability to require approval for a check before the project can proceed. 

Yes. We also have object checks available of various types, including Installation, Deinstallation, Packing, and Unpacking. All of these, in addition to Articheck’s condition reporting functionality, allows for documentation during and after installation.

Yes, Virtual Courier is a part of a three product series called Virtual Suite. Virtual Curator, with the ability to record condition report videos and film or photograph object checks including Installation will be launched next month. If you are interested in Virtual Curator don’t hesitate to book a call with us to discuss further

Sustainability

TL;DR We estimate that the carbon footprint of traditional couriers is at least 5500 times higher than the carbon footprint of Virtual Courier. 

Based calculations from US EPA data, on average 100 GB of data stored in the cloud for one year (several thousand photos or multiple hours of video) would result in the emission of approximately 0.2 tons of CO2. That being said, Articheck uses AWS cloud servers, which have an 88% lower carbon footprint than maintaining a local enterprise server center. Plus, AWS also has the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

As an example, the Virtual Courier group for the Black Forest case study holds a total of 180 MB of data and would have a carbon footprint of .00036 tons of CO2. But Virtual Courier groups will vary greatly in size, current estimates run from 100 MB to 50 GB depending on the number of objects and amount of photos and videos stored. 

There isn’t enough research out there to estimate the average traditional courier emissions, but for example in the 24ORE Cultura case study “Rethinking Frida Kahlo” presented at the Artswitch conference, one touring exhibition requiring 49 couriers across 2 continents had a carbon footprint of 110 tons of CO2. 

If we estimate 49 couriers would use 10GB of Virtual Courier group data (just over 200MB each) and compare the carbon footprint of data storage for 1 year to the carbon footprint of traditional couriers for the Frida Kahlo exhibition reviewed by 24ORE Cultura, you can see that the carbon footprint of the traditional couriers is 5500 times that of Virtual Courier.

Insurance

Up to this point, all of our feedback from insurers has been that Virtual Courier gives more detailed and quality documentation than anything else they’ve seen. They’ve said it would be a valuable resource for insurers.

ParceLive Sensors

We are working with a variety of partners to provide sensor options for both movement and in situ data, including launch event panelists Hanhaa ParceLive and Conserv. We are still configuring these options, and your feedback is valuable! If you are interested in using sensors with Virtual Courier, please let us know or book a chat to discuss with us further.

Yes, ParceLive sensors are placed in the crate. Virtual Courier actions, on the other hand, are completed via smartphone, tablet, or computer onsite.

Using ParceLive sensors you can track the shipment real time, except when the flight is in the air. This restriction is due to international aviation regulations. Parcelive has a flight mode so it will detect the pressure and the acceleration of the aircraft taking off, so during the flight all data will still be recorded. And as the plane comes to land all of that data will be readily available.

ParceLive is a real-time, multimodal cargo tracking service that connects users to live information about the location, condition and security of their assets regardless of their country, carrier or scale. ParceLive smart sensors measure GPS location, temperature, humidity, orientation, shock and freefall, and light.

With ParceLive sensors, yes – and in real time. ParceLive is a real-time, multimodal cargo tracking service that connects users to live information about the location, condition and security of their assets regardless of their country, carrier or scale. ParceLive smart sensors measure GPS location, temperature, humidity, orientation, shock and freefall, and light.

ParceLive is used frequently by freight forwarders who ship predominantly via sea and rail. In these instances, ParceLive is attached to shipments which are then loaded into containers. ParceLive is still able to relay a strong signal.

At sea and when loaded into containers, ParceLive for the most part is able to relay data back to the ParceLive portal in real-time. There are, however, times when in the middle of the ocean that ParceLive will not be able to relay data in real-time. Nevertheless, the device will still record all data from the entirety of the journey. When a signal is found again, all the data from the ParceLive device will populate the portal.

zetcom - Museum Plus

For MuseumPlus clients, we suggest you get in touch with us to discuss further our integration and support of multiple languages, as well as how future integration with Virtual Courier will work.

If you would like to discuss using Virtual Courier, please book a call with us.