The nature of logistics and transportation requires extensive labor and a culture of trust. A typical freight shipment endures dozens of touch points in the freight’s journey, and data entry or documentation capture is, unfortunately, an after-the-fact process.
In actuality, the priority of those in each touch point is usually the freight, not necessarily the data. Companies who have developed automated technologies to capture and track data still have the problem of data integrity.
Either the data cannot be verified by other supply chain partners, relying solely on what is present, or there is no mechanism to validate the data itself.
As the world of transport continues to increase in complexity, the merging of blockchain and artificial intelligence will be where technologies come together to digitize freight.
Another one bites the dust.. By this I mean another company that is moving away from Paper Bill of Lading.. 🙂
It is inevitable that influential shippers and shipping lines are embracing tech one after the other.. Whether it is India’s first blockchain enabled Letter of Credit transaction, the first smart bill of lading issued using blockchain or the first blockchain based coffee exchange, technological innovations are here to stay in the shipping and freight industry..
G2 Ocean and Manuchar became the latest partnership to show that paper Bill of Lading is ready for retirement.. Together, they completed a successful pilot trial of CargoX’s blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading Solution..
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..
Ports and port authorities have also got in on the Blockchain action with the port of Valencia joining the TradeLens project, the technological solution developed by IBM and Maersk to start applying blockchain technology in the global supply chain and the port of Marseille Fos piloting a blockchain based project for supply chain logistics and intermodal freight movement on the Mediterranean-Rhône-Saône axis (MeRS) transport corridor..
The TradeLens project has been further strengthened by the announcement from ZIM Integrated Shipping that it has signed on as a member of TradeLens..
Blockchain, a distributed digital ledger technology (DLT) has many uses like powering crypto currencies, helping manufacturers improve their supply chain handling and management, making transactions of healthcare, electricity and financial sectors more transparent..
Today, blockchain has become an important emerging technology in many industries for its promise of transparency and traceability..
Coffee, is a beverage made by percolation, infusion, or decoction from the roasted and ground seeds of a coffee plant.. Although no one knows exactly how or when coffee was discovered, there are many legends about its origin..
So what is the connection between Blockchain and Coffee..??
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..
There is a discernible difference between Maritime, Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain industries.. All performing various functions, but all connected in the grand scheme of things, keeping the propellers of global trade churning..
In very simple terms, Supply Chain is the whole granddaddy process comprising of all aspects in a product cycle, for example from picking of the fruit at a farm in Point A to delivering the fruit to the shelf at a store in Point B using all of the above-mentioned industries, businesses and services..
By some estimates, inefficiencies in the global supply chain impose overhead costs of between 15% and 20% of global GDP cumulatively – supply chain inefficiencies dampen corporate profits and lower societal well-being..
This presents an opportunity to solve a large and pervasive global problem, and to significantly boost global economic growth and prosperity in the process..
We report on the latest with The New York Supply Chain Meetup who are on their 10th meetup with #TNYSCM10..
The blockchain technology and its integration with IoT seem to be quickly catching on and the practical uses and benefits of these integrations would be interesting to watch..
Recently two companies announced that they will come together to create a joint platform to service thousands of users in the transportation sector..
One is RoadLaunch, an intuitive, fully integrated and easy-to-use system for freight quoting, dispatch, capacity management, load matching, asset tracking, transparency and instant settlement..
The other is CargoX, a multi-award winning open and independent platform based on blockchain technology highly regarded as the optimal way to transfer information of value in the digital shipping business..
This partnership will integrate CargoX’s Blockchain Document Transaction System technology, powered by the Ethereum Network, with RoadLaunch’s permission-based blockchain platform..
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..
Ahhhh, blockchain, to many, it’s like entering a parallel universe, evoking images of a world where all processes are in blocks, every block talking to the other, every block working seamlessly at the touch of a button, the equivalent of a human world where the roads are flowing with milk and honey..
There are proponents and opponents to this technology in equal measure, with the proponents fuelling a hype relating to the blockchain technology’s application in shipping, freight and logistics, in the media in the recent past..
We caught up with John Monarch, CEO of ShipChain in an effort to understand what the blockchain can and cannot do in the shipping and freight industry and to help us separate hype from reality..