Scientists verify blockchain technology for logistics

Scientists verify blockchain technology for logistics

A pilot programme testing blockchain technology in the logistics sector has earned the approval of scientists at the University of Copenhagen and maritime technology leads at Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC).

The project by Marine Transport International (MTI) and Agility Sciences involved the deployment of their Container Streams system in a supply chain environment.

In the pilot, a shared blockchain ledger connected supplier, shipper, load point, customs and terminal.

The container transport industry has recently shown considerable interest in blockchain technology with the likes of Maersk and PSA signing collaboration agreements with IBM.

According to a statement from MTI, “all parties involved in the supply chain benefit from automated data flows as the system allows complete interoperability of data sources, even including legacy systems”.

Karim Jabbar, from the department of computer science at the University of Copenhagen, said: “This pilot demonstrates the great potential for distributed ledger technologies to be used in improving supply chain processes.

“The logistics industry as a whole can expect better visibility, connectivity and cost savings as a result of distributed ledger adoption.”

He further praised the Container Streams system for not requiring the complete replacement of existing systems but instead offering interoperability with existing legacy infrastructure.

Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International, said: “The business case for connecting supply chains using blockchain is very strong. As the interface is easily adaptable to existing systems there is a very low barrier to entry.

“Any type of supply chain business, be it marine-, air-, or land-based, can take advantage of such a system – the cost savings that we envisage are as high as 90%, as a result of substantially streamlined processes.”

Cleworth claimed that a blockchain-enabled supply chain would be highly resilient to cyberattack since “a copy of the essential shipping data is stored on each node on a decentralised network, meaning that even if one node is compromised, the data is safe nevertheless”.