The car manufacturer Tesla participated in the testing of a privately owned blockchain aimed at speeding up the cargo recovery process in ports. A new consortium of distribution chains is being created in the maritime and port transport sectors. According to the Splash 247 report of 7 April 2020, the software company CargoSmart, in partnership with Cosco, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) and Tesla, recently conducted a pilot project to test a new application that could transform the cargo release process using Blockchain technology.
Optimization of container traceability
Since 2016, numerous experiments have been carried out, in several sectors such as industry and agriculture, in order to exploit and analyses the assets and advantages offered by blockchain technology. The shipping and air transport sectors are also both interested in the potential of the blockade in their operations. For example, Blockchain's technology would be a complement to help change the freight industry. It has the potential to significantly reduce sea freight costs, but also to create a new paradigm of digitalisation and standardisation of supply chains, which are still predominantly paper-based.
In 2016, several dozen Dutch companies and institutions participated in a project launched by the Port of Rotterdam to develop blockchain applications in maritime freight.
In 2018, one of the world leaders in sea freight, Maersk, in partnership with the IMB Group, has already embarked on the adventure by introducing the TradeLens Blockchain Shipping Solution. TradeLens includes more than 20 port and terminal operators worldwide, such as PSA Singapore, Port of Rotterdam, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, and others, representing approximately 234 maritime access points worldwide. Freight forwarders, transport and logistics companies such as Agility, CEVA Logistics, WorldWide Alliance also participated in this project. The aim is to keep a register that makes it possible to record all container movements in a transparent and forgery-proof manner. Maersk wants to optimize the traceability of containers that circulate and pass through different stakeholders including shippers, customs, carriers, ports, freight forwarders.
Tesla Pilot Project successful
In order to continue the advantages of the Blockchain for shipping, a new experiment was conducted at the end of last year. The former projects of the Blockchain have been able to show that this technology is capable of optimising the management of customs paperwork, but also the fluidity of operations for the release of goods in the ports. A new experiment was carried out at the end of last year; Tesla in partnership with Cosco, SGIP and CargoSmart announced in April 2020 the completion of testing of a Blockchain application capable of speeding up the verification of cargo documentation.
To understand this, the pilot project brought together a group of industry heavyweights to exchange shipment data in real time. A meeting was held with shipping carriers and terminal operators. These include Cosco, the Shanghai International Port Authority, car manufacturer Tesla and technology provider CargoSmart. The pilot project was conducted in December 2019 with a view to sharing relevant data and shipping documents between the parties involved, including Tesla. The objective was to reduce the data verification steps for shipping agents and cargo consignees.
In other words, importing goods into any country requires a lot of paperwork and is a time-consuming process. A blockchain-based application could therefore provide Tesla with a safe method of importing them quickly and securely.
Cargosmart explained that:
The pilot project not only demonstrated the benefits of a single, reliable source of truth for cargo documentation, but also the efficiency gains for industry participants,' said Mr. Klein.
The proven application of the blockchain reduces the verification steps between consignees, shipping agents and carriers to expedite the issuance of sea waybills. The digitisation and simplification of these processes should thus enable truckers to retrieve their cargo more quickly from the terminal. For shippers, this should result in better compliance with delivery times and guarantees in terms of quality of service for customers.
Wu Yu, General Manager of Cosco's Business Process&System Division summarized:
'The pilot with SIPG and CargoSmart presented significant efficiency gains not only in the cargo clearance process, but also in downstream supply chain planning by providing a single source of truth in documentation for all parties involved. We look forward to more blockchain-based applications that can create value for customers and industry.
Written By Laetitia, Project Manager
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