That platform is in a proof-of-concept stage, capturing more than a million shipping events each day, 154 million in total so far. They hope to open the program to anyone later this year. The new members are part of IBM’s early adopter program, and will charge a fee for full access.
IBM admits they need to improve two aspects – specific documents types stored on the blockchain, and the “onboarding” process for new partners. When fully functional, they will more likely be able to get enough companies on board to integrate the new technology.
80% of an average person’s belongings crossed the ocean, and it was likely on a Maersk boat, or in one of their containers.
Maerks is the largest shipping company in the world, and over 100 years old. They own over 600 vessels, and have more ships new being built, than much of the competing companies have all together. The company has almost 100,000 employees, but that could be reduced with blockchain.
Blockchain and Shipping Industry
The shipping industry operates with procedures created back in the 1950’s when a standard was set for shipping container size. It consumes tons of physical paper, is filled with redundancies and takes steps that could easily be automated with technology now available.
The new process avoids conflicts or disagreements, because blockchain forces automated, computed trust into transactions. The single database eliminates the ability of one side to claim misinterpretation or something being miscommunicated when reconciling two separate databases. It reduces paperwork by more than half by automating bills of lading, sanitary certificates, customs releases, invoices and other necessary documents.
This solution brings end-to-end solutions, not just efficiencies for port-to-port. Prior to implementation of the pilot program, a container could sometimes spend more time in port than crossing the ocean. Results show that shipping times dropped 40% on average.
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