Consultancy firm Accenture Global Solutions has submitted a document for blockchain-based shipping systems to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The proposals, sent on July 26, 2018, suggest the use of blockchain as a means of automating and expediting container shipping, and include a reference to a “secure transaction ledger database” that will be accessible by companies wishing to verify the status and condition of goods.
Other features of a potential system include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which will “perform the first analysis” of cargo, using the database to store the information.
Wolfgang Lehmacher underlines the importance of technologies like blockchain for the future of shipping in a recent Port Technology technical paper
According to the patent, the technology operates by trying to match database records with container contents.
The technology monitors information within an encrypted server that protects private information.
In addition to this, the patent describes how driverless or autonomous vehicles could prompt the delivery of goods to a specific destination once they have verified that the identity of said goods is correct.
The system may also be capable of contacting the managers and personnel responsible for transporting the cargo, especially in cases where identification equipment reveals that shipped goods are incorrect and need returning.
Accenture, who in 2017 explored the applications of blockchain in a joint-initiative with Microsoft, is currently working alongside the United Nations and World Economic Forum (WEF) to develop other digital identity projects.