Marine Transport International has found that using blockchain for container transactions can slash documentation costs by over $US5 million per mega-ship, according to Finextra.
Freight forwarder Marine Transport International, with offices in the US and the UK, provides technologies including blockchain.
It estimates savings in labour and documentation processing costs from using the technology amount to $300 per container, or $5.4 million for a 18,000 TEU containership.
Blockchain can be used to create online databases that are more difficult than paper to alter as they form a verifiable custody record.
Blockchain’s use in trade and transaction processing for container logistics could reform a $4-trillion-a-year-industry that still relies on legacy paperwork processes.
Antwerp Port is already using blockchain in container security processes, but not for tracking containers, while at the Port of Rotterdam, Maersk has run a limited blockchain-based freight tracking trial.
Marine Transport International’s CEO Jody Cleworth said: “The system increases supply chain visibility and health and safety within the supply chain. We do this by creating a cyber-physical representation where a digital asset, such as the actual shipping container, is represented physically and digitally.
“As the container moves along the landside supply chain, we are able to track its contents and provide versions of that information to regulatory agencies that need to see what’s going on inside these containers.
“Wide-scale adoption of the technology could be hampered, however, if large industries and the people involved in supply chain management don’t move beyond the current “proof-of-concept” trials out of apprehension over sharing data.
“Or worse, from fear about how it will change their business models. And that’s the biggest risk of all: “that the technology won’t be used or that it will be used on a proprietary basis.
“There needs to be a system of governance and consciousness that we apply to when determining whether the technology should be deployed.”