Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by BLOC and Lloyd’s Register, has announced the establishment of a consortium that will pilot a blockchain-based seafarer certification system.
According to a statement, the project aims to streamline processes that can be slowed down by a lack of verification for safety documentation, paper-based certificate management, and a lack of access to validated safety and training certifications.
These obstacles can create significant issues for crew management agencies, ship operators, and port authorities when insuring their crew.
Shipping companies involved in the pilot, for whom crewing is a key concern, include the world’s largest ocean carrier Maersk, which is aiming to show the importance of its crew in the smooth commercial operation of vessels.
Nadia Hewett, WEF, discusses the integration of blockchain into the maritime supply chain in a recent Port Technology technical paper
Also included, as part of the consortium, are businesses working in the field of fleet management and certification, such as provider of cloud-based fleet management solutions Hanseaticsoft, platform providers Navozyme and C-LOG, and international seafarer charity The Mission to Seafarers.
The second of three demonstrator projects, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), will focus on the end-to-end demonstration of a digital certification and endorsement process, utilising a digital repository for verified crew documentation, training logs and an approval system.
Upon validation and scaling, the final solution would enable individual seafarers to manage their certificate repository from original issuance, as well as allowing maritime administrations to manage the renewal and endorsement across jurisdictions.
Great to talk with @MaerskGrowth's @saxberg about how #blockchain technologies can help de-risk marine fuel supply chains. It’s been a big week for #IMO2020 – now we need to collaborate and build the solutions. pic.twitter.com/mmaRdTirh1
— BLOC (@un_BLOC) October 30, 2018
Deanna MacDonald, CEO of BLOC, said: “Blockchain is essentially a collaborative technology, and so we need to build with industry rather than adopting a top-down approach, and therefore an essential ingredient to this project is to start by building a consortium that represents everyone in the value chain, from vessel owners to the seafarers themselves.
“The properties of blockchain make it uniquely positioned to deliver on these value propositions.
“Taken together, the distributed digital ledger, tamperproof timestamping (and hashing) of information and documentation, and the peer-to-peer verification network enable a globally available and locally accessible respiratory of verified and validated documentation.”
Read more about BLOC's work is changing the maritime sector by reading a Port Technology technical paper
Graeme Thomson, Head of the Northern Europe Manning Office from Maersk, also commented: “Blockchain has the potential to significantly improve the transparency, authenticity and ease of working with crew certification; both for the ship owner/operator and most importantly for the crew themselves.
“Building and maintaining an intuitive and user-friendly platform for the management of crew certification will bring hugely significant benefits to all stakeholders.”