COSCO and Alibaba aim to transform global shipping with blockchain

Blockchain technology concept. Chain in form of pc circuit board with cpu on blue futuristic background. 3d illustration

COSCO Shipping has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Ant Group and Alibaba Group to jointly explore the application of Ant Blockchain, Ant Group’s blockchain technology, and its potential to transform shipping.

In a statement, the parties said shipping made for an “ideal use case for blockchain technologies” because of the large numbers of participants in the logistics chain.

Smart technologies such as blockchain are beocming increasingly important in the maritime industry and the global supply chain.

This is particularly true today as the world looks for new ways to solve the crisis wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the world’s major ports are suffering from congestion, as they struggle to clear both the containers they had prior to the pandemic and the ones now arriving from China and the Far East.

In a webinar on the end-to-end supply chain in May 2020, it was suggested that the pandemic could be the very thing that accelerates adoption of an electronic Bill of Lading (B/L), due to the transparency and ease of use compared with paper transactions.

Ant Blockchain said it can help ensure key shipping information such as container records and logistic certificates are tamper-proof, and are easily verified and shared among all participants.

This includes shipping companies, harbor managers, logistics service providers, and supply chain financing entities. It significantly improves transparency while reducing costs.

Through Ant Group’s blockchain technology, we look forward to supporting the digital transformation of the global shipping industry, and working with COSCO SHIPPING to make it easier and more efficient to trade globally,” said Eric Jing, Executive Chairman of Ant Group.

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