31/08/2017 – News / Marine / Logistics / Shipping / Blockchain / Transport / Technology / Connectivity

Pilot demonstrates revolutionary potential of Blockchain for logistics industry

A successful pilot programme delivered by logistics technology company Marine Transport International (MTI) demonstrates that the logistics industry will see improved connectivity, efficiency and security thanks to blockchain.


MTI, in conjunction with Agility Sciences, has released a whitepaper detailing the deployment of their Container Streams system in a supply chain environment. The results of the pilot have been verified by scientists at the University of Copenhagen and maritime technology leads at the Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC).


Far reaching consequences


The project, which has connected supplier, shipper, load point, customs and terminal on a shared blockchain ledger, has far reaching consequences for the logistics industry as it seeks new ways to improve security and profitability. 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.


“The results of this successful pilot demonstrate the strengths of blockchain technology when deployed to link the various actors in the supply chain,” remarked Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International. “We are confident that firms throughout the logistics industry will see a broad spectrum of benefits stemming from blockchain deployment.”


Thwarting cyber-attacks


Ms Cleworth commented that the blockchain has proved to be an excellent way of connecting the different parties involved in any supply chain environment due to the transparency and security-by-design of the technology. “In recent months, the shipping industry has fallen victim to industrial-scale cyber-attacks, which have left large shipping lines such as Maersk completely paralysed and unable to serve clients,” she observed. “A blockchain-enabled supply chain is highly resilient to cyber-attack – 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.”


“Better visibility, connectivity and cost savings”


The business case for connecting supply chains using blockchain is very strong, Ms Cleworth continued. “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 per cent, as a result of substantially streamlined processes.”


Karim Jabbar, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen, added that the new pilot demonstrates the great potential for distributed ledger technologies to be used in improving supply chain processes. “The Container Streams system is unique in the fact that it does not require the complete replacement of existing systems – instead, MTI’s solution allows complete interoperability with existing legacy infrastructure,” he explained. “The logistics industry as a whole can expect better visibility, connectivity and cost savings as a result of distributed ledger adoption.”


Collaboration is key


The opportunities that blockchain offers in terms of vastly enhanced traceability, reliability and efficiency across the sector have been brought to the fore with MTI’s latest pilot – yet collaboration across the logistics industry will clearly be key to its wide-scale implementation.


“We have documented the first phase of this use case, its implications for the maritime industry and the resulting development of a turn-key application ecosystem for global supply chain logistics,” stated Deanna MacDonald, CEO of Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration. “However, the future potential of this ecosystem platform will rest upon collaboration from the different actors in these supply chains in order to clearly identify the problems and co-create applications that solve for the collective challenges they are facing today.”


The whitepaper can be accessed here: http://www.marinetransportint.com/container-streams-white-paper/

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