Well, another year has gone.. 2018 has been consigned to the annals of history..
2019 is here, all shiny, sparkling and new ready to carry the world of global trade, its cargo, its ships, its burdens, its struggles and bear the fruits or consequences of the developments and actions that took place in the industry in 2018..
As with every year, in 2018 as well, our world and our industry went through a lot of changes both good and bad..
From the entry of ONE into the container shipping market to all major lines preparing for the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap, it has been an eventful year for the shipping and freight industry..
Here is my review of 2018 and the year that it was, for the shipping and freight industry..
Competition is one of the constants in business, something that can spur you on and make you better or something that can bring you down..
Every industry has competition in varying degrees.. Some companies look at their competition and say “Yeah ok, whatever” (think Google/Facebook).. Some companies look at their competition and say “Oh crap, that’s close” – like a lot of companies in the shipping and freight industry..
While competition comes in various forms, there are several cases where you may really struggle to find a way to stand out from your competition..
Let me explain further with some examples relatable to the shipping and freight industry..
Whether for better or worse, technology has touched and revolutionized almost all aspects of human life and business.. Shipping and freight industry has also been touched by this technological developments under both mechanical and digital category..
If you Google the word “Jargon” you will see it described as “special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.” The Shipping and Freight industry has its own jargon, oh yes, and a lot of it usually flummoxes many people in the industry.. I was thoroughly confused with all these when … Read more here..
Blockchain seems to have become a prolific “enabler” of businesses, particularly in the shipping and freight and trade industry..
Whether in its use by Banks and Shippers to create Trade Finance documents; or creating and transmitting smart bills of lading; or setting up a blockchain-based marketplace app for trading in coffee; or making documentation easy for ports; or ensuring prompt delivery of mandarins for the Chinese New Year; Blockchain is making its presence felt quite rapidly in our industry..
Many shipping lines, ports, financial institutions and other private entities are using Blockchain and testing it in many different ways through many pilot projects..
Saudi Customs became the latest entity to successfully test drive its first shipment powered the blockchain technology..
Many have heralded the prowess of Blockchain, the “immutable” hero of technology in the shipping, freight and logistics space..
Blockchain has already been
successfully used by Banks and Shippers to create Trade Finance documents;
creative enough to get a Tech company and the World’s largest container line to invest in it ;
successfully used by companies to create and transmit smart bills of lading with it ;
Ports and port authorities have also got in on the Blockchain action with the port of Valencia, recently joining the TradeLens project, the technological solution developed by IBM and Maersk to start applying blockchain technology in the global supply chain..
Now it is the turn of the port of Marseille Fos, the largest seaport in France, 5th largest in Europe and 41st in the world..
Previously we had reviewed how blockchain based smart bills of lading work in general and what smart bills of lading can do..
We also reported on news of shipping lines progressing to the next phase Blockchain initiatives..
Smart bills powered by blockchain seem to have arrived with more and more lines carrying out tests and succeeding in the same..
Pacific International Lines (“PIL”), the company founded by one of the Leaders and Visionaries in Shipping – Mr.Chang Yun Chung, became the latest shipping line to successfully use an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM Blockchain Platform for the shipment and tracking of Mandarins (a type of Orange) from China to Singapore to coincide with the Lunar New Year celebrations..
The world of digitisation and technology is upon us and the shipping and freight industry has been playing catch up compared to the other industries..
In November 2017, ZIM Line announced that the first pilot of paperless Bills-of-Lading based on blockchain technology was completed in cooperation with Sparx Logistics and Wave Ltd..
The pioneering pilot, the first of its kind led by an ocean carrier, was concluded successfully as part of ZIM lines new platform along with a selection of their leading customers to test this solution for trade activities on multiple shipping lanes..
Following this successful pilot, ZIM line has been evaluating its platform in different trade lanes with more customers and is now ready to move to the next phase of its blockchain initiative..