IBM Puts Oranges on the Blockchain

The title sound for sure as click-bait, but blame IBM not us, who has decided to ship a container full of mandarin oranges from China to Singapore. Yes, you heard that right, IBM has decided to show the world that Blockchain Technology is just not about cryptocurrencies only.

In the latest development, Pacific International Lines and IBM Blockchain are using an electronic bill cum smart contract to track a shipment of 28 tons of oranges from China to Singapore. The shippers can track the order from factory to its final destination in Singapore.

The e-BL cum smart contract laced with Blockchain would help the project to be monitored remotely without batting any sweat.

IBM Calls the Shipment a Success

The shipment of 28-ton oranges is being called a success project by IBM as 3000 of them have already arrived before the schedule and rest are on its way to the destination. One of the spokespeople for IBM explained the reason behind putting oranges on the Blockchain,

“Companies that ship perishable items like mandarin oranges require efficient document processing and expedited cargo clearing for delivery to help shorten overall shipping time, which in turn reduces risks for retailers and provides fresher options to consumers, However, current processes mean that shipments of oranges from China can take up to seven days for the transfer of critical shipping documents and ultimately, the cargo.”

The project has cut significant time and labor that goes into the administrative process. If you are aware of how smart contracts work, you know that it has pre-defined self-executing codes, which does not require specific monitoring.

Suppose you have created a smart contract cum e-bill for 28 tons of oranges, there are certain levels. Suppose the first level is the receiving of the product by the shipment company, as soon as the company receives the said amount, it updates the e-bill and it goes into the second level.

At second level, the containers get loaded, and the pilot of the ship updates the ledger, which gives the info to the receiver in Singapore, who does not have to send the administrative officer to check or verify. The shipment only gets further if the quality of the product matches the predefined criteria, otherwise, it would be canceled.

The Final stage is when the Hupco Pte receives the shipment, it would update the contract and the contract gets completed. For every shortcoming in the shipment be it late shipment or reduced quality of the product, the smart contract has preset penalties, which would be deducted from the stored finances on the contract.

Blockchain Technology the Tool for Industrial Revolution 4.0

The current shipment of mandarin oranges is just one use-case of Blockchain technology and smart contracts. The Hupco Pte Limited is a mandarin orange importer in the region. They are thoroughly satisfied with the pilot IBM blockchain project.

Tay Khiam Back, CEO of Hupco says,

“We are delighted with the outcome of the trial. By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings,”

The current pilot project from IBM is a practical proof on how correct implementation of Blockchain can revolutionize some of the most centralized sectors of the world, and help cut down middlemen, to give the benefits to those who work hard for it and deserve it more.