Japan's container shipping companies will be taking part in a consortium to develop a trade data sharing platform using blockchain technology.
The partnership, formed of 14 trade-related companies in banking, insurance and logistics, aims to use the decentralised ledger technology to securely exchange digital or physical assets.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), currently in the process of forming the Ocean Network Express (ONE) partnership, have all been listed as participants in the project.
This is Japan's first attempt at using blockchain technology for trade-related operations.
The initiative follows a similar announcement by carrier Pacific International Lines (PIL) and port group PSA International (PSA), which are collaborating with technology giant IBM to integrate blockchain into trading processes in Singapore.
Blockchain is expected to revolutionize transactions in the container shipping industry.
A specialist cryptocurrency launched by Hong Kong-based company 300cubits has begun distributing a ‘TEU’ token to ocean shipping lines and shippers as a solution to overbooking and shipper no-shows.
In a statement, MOL said: “Current trading practices rely heavily on bills of lading and other documents. This creates burdens such as additional time to complete procedures and requires additional labor and costs.
“This program aims to increase convenience for customers by using blockchain technology to make information flow more smoothly through corporations and across business categories and making trade-related office procedures swifter and more efficient.”