Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has celebrated its first use of blockchain technology for reefer containers on board a vessel voyaging from South Korea to China.
HMM conducted a pilot voyage, from the South Korean port of Busan to the Chinese Port of Qingdao, from August 24 to September 4, 2017.
HMM’s pilot assessed the feasibility of blockchain-enabled reefer containers combined with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Blockchain was employed for not only paperwork but also tracking cargo, all the way from shipment booking to cargo delivery.
Real-time monitoring and managing of the reefer containers on the vessel was enabled as well.
A container of avocadoes could be written off as spoiled if a single customs document is missing on arrival, a problem can be avoided through instantaneous transmission of data through blockchain, proponents like IBM have claimed.
HMM said that adopting blockchain technology in shipping and logistics industry will enable all involved parties to securely share all the information such as certificate of origin and customs clearance information.
It would like to dispense with paperwork and inputting booking information and Bill of Lading data, adding efficiency for shipping operations.
Blockchain-enabled data transmission could also be made more secure than paperwork using public-key cryptography.
Related technical paper: World Economic Forum's Wolfgang Lemacher discusses blockchain Technology for Ports
HMM is planning on its second blockchain-and-IoT-enabled pilot voyage in October, 2017, and this time, it will use dry containers and reach diverse destinations such as India, China, and Thailand.
The ship operator will continue reviewing the blockchain technology in 2017 with a view to adopting the technology.
A Korean shipping and logistics blockchain consortium, established in May, 2017 among logistics companies, the government, and a state-run research centre, has already studied blockchain for shipping and logistics.
Separately, major shipping operator Maersk has revealed its latest blockchain project: a blockchain-based marine insurance platform.
Maersk is building it alongside American technology multinational Microsoft, UK consultancy EY (Ernst & Young), Estonian data security firm Guardtime
Read more: Previously, IBM and Maersk announced that they will start collaborating in using blockchain technology in cross-border supply chains, and have trialled tracking shipments to the Port of Rotterdam.