7 Major Blockchain Technology Developments In Maritime Industry

Blockchain technology has hit the shipping industry in a major way as many shipping companies are looking forward to making information flow more smoothly across business categories and making trade-related office procedures swifter and more efficient.

Though there are several challenges for the implementation of the technology, considering industry standards, meeting regulatory expectations as well as the emergence of a leading blockchain technology platform, the shipping industry participants need to be prepared for the blockchain technology as the technology is coming and companies need to be ready to be able to take advantage of this game-changing technology.

blockchain ship
Representation image

Let’s take a look at some of the most important developments in the field of blockchain technology in the maritime industry in 2018.

1.First-Ever Bill Of Lading Issues With Blockchain Technology

In August 2018,  the first-ever container processed with the revolutionary new blockchain-based CargoX Smart Bill of Lading™ was released successfully in the Port of Koper, Slovenia (EU) .

The Bill of Lading for this shipment has been issued electronically and transferred with the help of an ultra-secure and reliable public blockchain network in just minutes instead of days or weeks, and the chances of loss, theft or damage to the Bill of Lading have been dramatically reduced to near-zero.

Read more about CargoX Technology here. 

2. World’s First Shipping Transaction On Ethereum Blockchain

In March 2018, 300cubits announced the successful completion of the first trial shipment in its smart contract deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. TEU tokens held as booking deposit on blockchain have been successfully returned to the users upon receipt of port EDI message on a textile shipment.

The shipment consisted of two 40-foot high cube container boxes going from Malaysia to Brazil.

Read more about the transaction here. 

3. Maersk And IBM Introduce TradeLens Blockchain Shipping Solution

A.P. Moller –Maersk and IBM announced the creation of TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade, bringing together various parties to support information sharing and transparency, and spur industry-wide innovation.

As part of the TradeLens early adopter program, IBM and Maersk also announced that 94 organizations are actively involved or have agreed to participate on the TradeLens platform built on open standards.

Read more about Tradelens here. 

4. Abu Dhabi Ports Launches Blockchain Technology For Trade Community

Maqta Gateway, an Abu Dhabi Ports subsidiary, was the first Abu Dhabi entity to develop and launch its own blockchain technology – Silsal in 2018.

Silsal will combine blockchain technology and unique digital user identities to provide a seamless and secure link between stakeholders across the trade community. Blockchain technology acts as an open digital ledger that can be used by trade actors to record and extract details regarding transactions with greater security, transparency and efficiency.

Read more about Silsal here. 

5. The World’s First Marine Insurance Blockchain Platform Launched

EY and Guardtime announce the world’s first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector. The platform launches in collaboration with A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, ACORD, Microsoft, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin and after a 20-week proof of concept.

The blockchain platform — built on Microsoft Azure global cloud technology — is positioned to provide significant value to the insurance industry. The first of its kind in the insurance industry, the platform’s initial phased rollout will involve deploying the benefits of blockchain for end-to-end use across the marine industry.

Read more about the Marine Insurance blockchain platform here. 

6. PIL, PSA And IBM Conclude A Successful Testing Of Blockchain Technology

Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (“PIL”), PSA International (“PSA”) and IBM Singapore (“IBM”) signed an MOU to collaborate on blockchain-based supply chain business network innovations.

Following the signing of the MOU, the companies worked on a Proof Of Concept (“POC”) exercise, built on IBM Blockchain Platform, applying and then testing a blockchain-based supply chain platform to track and trace cargo movement from Chongqing to Singapore via the Southern Transport Corridor.

Read more about the blockchain technology here.

7. Port Of Antwerp Develops Blockchain Based Document Workflow

Documents, such as certificates of origin and phytosanitary certificates, are transferred via blockchain technology and the document flow is automated by means of so-called “Smart Contracts”.

Together with Belfruco, Enzafruit, PortApp, 1-Stop and T&G Global, a specific solution was developed for phytosanitary certificates – which guarantee the safety of fruit and vegetables. With this pilot project, the port of Antwerp confirms its pioneering role in the field of innovation and digitization and actively collaborates on new solutions to further secure our food chain while automating the administrative processes.

Read more about the blockchain technology here. 

Additional Mentions

Ocean Carriers and Terminal Operators Initiate Blockchain Consortium

Nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operators today signed a formal statement of intent for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a consortium to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an open digital platform based on distributed ledger technology.

The participants include ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, and Yang Ming; terminal operators DP World, Hutchison Ports, PSA International Pte Ltd, and Shanghai International Port; and software solutions provider CargoSmart. The new platform will establish a digital baseline that aims to connect all stakeholders, including carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers, and logistics service providers to enable collaborative innovation and digital transformation in the supply chain.

Read more about the blockchain consortium here.

AMRO, Samsung SDS And Port Of Rotterdam Launch Container Logistics Blockchain Pilot

ABN AMRO, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Samsung SDS, the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, have joined forces to launch a pilot based on blockchain technology to use digitisation to achieve more transparency and, particularly, more efficiency.

The ultimate goal is for a complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains. ‘The transportation, monitoring and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.’

Read more about the project here.

LR & HHI Join Hands Unlocking The Value Of Applying Blockchain To Maritime

In September this year, LR announced a co-operation project with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), to explore the value of blockchain when applied to shipbuilding.

LR also announced the launch of its prototype blockchain-enabled Class register – the first demonstrator that can register ships into Class using blockchain technology.

Read more about the partnership here. 

Maritime Blockchain Labs Introduces New Consortium To Improve Crew Management And Streamline Documentation

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by blockchain technology and governance experts BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation,  announced the establishment of a consortium that will pilot a blockchain-based seafarer certification system.

The project aims to streamline and expedite processes that can be marred by a lack of verification for safety documentation, paper-based certificate management and a lack of access to validated safety and training certifications of seafarers.

Read more about the Consortium here. 

Real-World Testing And Scaling Phase For MBL’s Fuels Assurance Platform In Preparation For Commercialisation

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), a partnership set up between Lloyd’s Register Foundation and BLOC to explore the use of blockchain for the assurance and safety of critical infrastructure and drive new business models for the global maritime industry, announced today that its first demonstrator project, a fuel provenance register for the maritime sector that aims to provide trusted information about fuel origin, journey and characteristics, is set to enter a phase of further development as a key step towards commercialisation.

BlOC Announces Industry-Led Demonstrator Consortium For Blockchain Use In Bunkering

Blockchain technology and governance experts Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) announced, through its subsidiary Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), the establishment of a consortium to address traceability and transparency in the marine fuel supply chain, bringing together industry actors Lloyd’s Register, Precious Shipping, Bostomar, BIMCO, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), and GoodFuels.

Following extensive research, MBL has identified the bunker industry, with its multiple, complex transactions as an ideal use case where blockchain technology can increase transparency, create better compliance and stronger governance.

Read more about the Consortium here. 

Over to you..

Do you know any other important blockchain development that can be added to this list?

Let’s know in the comments below.

You may also like to read – What Are Smart Port Technologies?

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