We have been tracking the Blockchain movement in the Ocean Shipping Industry and we have seen an upwards trend in the development.
What is the update on blockchain’s progress in the industry?
Kuehne + Nagel plans to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology in a large-scale operational environment with 800,000 transactions per month while it also upgrades its VGM portal. The global transport and logistics company’s enhanced solution will aim to improve the ease of doing business for shippers as well as the degree of transparency on the VGM status of all customer shipments and the history of persisted information. Kuehne + Nagel said it designed the solution to “strictly fulfil industry requirements of confidentiality and data privacy”, adding to blockchain’s natural features of immutability and traceability.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) claimed that distributed ledger technology, such as blockchain, could generate US $1 trillion for the global economy by 2025. The whitepaper, ‘Trade Tech – A New Age for Trade and Supply Chain Finance’, found that the digitalization of trade offers ‘potentially huge benefits’ to global trade flows, such as import and export times being cut by 44%. This could benefit economies in Asia the most, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as multinational corporations, especially in developed economies, already have established supply chain processes. It is predicted the trade financing gap, the difference between credit given to exporters in emerging markets compared to developed ones, will increase from $1.5 trillion, as of 2017, to $2.4 trillion by 2025 unless smart technologies are utilised.
Able Freight Services, a cold chain logistics provider, has announced its entry into the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), which also includes companies such as Descartes, Daimler, FedEx, SAP and Uber Freight. With interest in blockchain-based solutions growing, BiTA is an organization dedicated to determining best practices and standards for blockchain in the transportation industry. For transporters, blockchain allows goods to be tracked more effectively and securely across the supply chain. There are also benefits for customers, as blockchain can help to complete transactions, track shipments and manage fleets.
Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading port operator, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International (MTI), to create one of Europe’s most detailed blockchain pilot programmes. As part of the agreement, ABP will commit to participating in MTI’s blockchain solution in pilot shipments, and the technology is designed to offer a secure link within the supply chain.
GoodFuels Marine, a supplier of low carbon marine fuels, has worked with Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) to complete the world’s first bunker delivery and transaction using blockchain. The delivery, a ‘landmark moment for the shipping industry’ according to a statement by GoodFuels, was made to a Samskip vessel in Rotterdam on September 7, 2018.
Hyperledger, an open source initiative to develop blockchain technologies, has announced the addition of 14 new companies to its global community, including supply chain giant FedEx. They join a group of 270 organisations, all of which are contributing to the growth of distributed ledger frameworks and tools. The initiative allows companies to create industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions.
Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to streamline major ports in the Asia-Pacific region, following an agreement between the technology company Ideanomics and APMEN Trade Tech. The smart technologies will be implemented for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) online port clearance platform, a system used by Shanghai and Guangdong in China. Shanghai and Guangdong handled approximately USD $1.5 trillion of imports and exports in 2017, while Shanghai alone achieved an annual throughput of 40 million TEU.
Global blockchain revenues across all markets could reach US$10.6 billion by 2023, as more companies and institutions utilise it to solve complex issues, according to a study from ABI Research. The success of blockchain in fintech has prompted significant investment in deploying the underlying infrastructure for application development and testing in other industries. Tech giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, HPE, and Oracle, among others, are pushing Blockchain-as-as-Service for first movers, often enabling integration with their existing enterprise software and cloud services.
Singapore’s leading container shipping line, Pacific International Lines (PIL) has announced it will work IBM to utilise blockchain technology in its supply chain. The PIL-IBM collaboration will seek to improve the documentation process by making it more efficient and reducing the risk of fraud. It will do this by creating an electronic bill of lading – an e-BL - that documents, such as evidence of contract of carriage, receipt of goods and title of goods, can be stored on.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and Hyperledger, the world’s two largest blockchain groups, will collaborate to promote and accelerate the adoption of smart technologies in business, according to a statement. As part of the agreement, each group’s members will become an associate member of the other. It will also see the two groups collaborate across a series of Special Interest Groups, Working Groups, meetups and conferences globally.
Read last month's update on blockchain here.