PIL, PSA and IBM to collaborate on blockchain solutions

PIL, PSA and IBM to collaborate on blockchain solutions
The agreement was signed at the Singapore Regional Business Forum

Pacific International Lines (PIL), PSA International and IBM Singapore (IBM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to trial blockchain-related solutions.

The Singapore-based carrier and terminal operator have become the latest companies in the supply chain to trial the technology, with Maersk beginning work with IBM earlier this year.

The companies will explore and trial proof of concept (POC) blockchain-based innovations related to supply chain business networks, hoping to achieve better security, efficiency and transparency.

They will also test whether it can be used to connect to trade finance solutions in the hope it can facilitate faster approval and fraud prevention.

Blockchain is a decentralised ledger technology used by a business network to securely exchange digital or physical assets.

Members of the network are granted access to an up-to-date copy of this encrypted ledger so they can read, write and validate transactions.

Once a transaction is validated using a consensus process, it is instantly committed to all ledgers in the network, potentially allowing faster confidential transactions between multiple parts of the supply chain.

Tan Chong Meng, group CEO of PSA, said: “A more transparent, secure and robust certification system and document flow will benefit the whole supply chain as well as have enormous potential for application in sectors such as food, pharmaceutical and trade finance.

“Across the global movement of goods and cargo, many activities continue to operate in silos.”

According to Tan, blockchain can potentially “reduce inefficiencies and gaps within the supply chain, promoting more cost-efficient transactions”.

Teo Siong Seng, managing director of PIL, said: “The MOU seeks to develop solutions that translate into fraud and error reduction, as well as cost savings.”

He added that for PIL, the “fruits of collaboration” may in the long term enhance its support to Chongqing Connectivity Initiative projects, the Southern Corridor connecting Western China to Southeast Asia via Guangxi, as well as Southeast Asia trade corridors.