IBM Uses Blockchain To Complete Shipping Trial From China To Singapore

Tech major IBM has continued its courtship with blockchain technology, managing to complete a new shipping trial using it. Managing trading ecosystems using blockchain is nothing new for IBM and this is only the latest chapter in the story.

In the shipping trial, a total of 108,000 mandarin oranges were shipped from China to Singapore. For the trial, IBM collaborated with Pacific International Lines (PIL), that managed the logistics of the transit

The role of blockchain in supply chain management is quite well-known and it is hardly surprising, given IBM’s affinity for the technology, that they chose to conduct such a trial. Blockchain technology, in this case, helped reduce the amount of paperwork necessary. As a result, it also contributed towards cutting of significant administrative costs.

Since the lunar new year is coming up in Singapore, the country is importing a substantial quantity of these mandarin oranges and use of blockchain in handling a major shipment like this did infuse the process with an extra bit of convenience.

The IBM Blockchain was used to generate the e-BL or Bill of Lading, which managed to hasten and smoothen the overall administration process. Discussing the benefits of this, the IBM press release read:

“This is significant because the Bill of Lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment.”

It added that:

“Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, and goods delivered more quickly and efficiently.”

With regard to the whole operation, IBM Asia Pacific CEO and Chairman Harriet Green said:

“A blockchain-based trade network will be a game-changer, and we have a great opportunity here with our partner PIL to revolutionize the documentation processes in a way that benefits the entire industry.”

Blockchain has remained a major focal area for IBM for a long time now and it has repeatedly tried to find novel applications of the technology. Recently, it has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo for cobalt mining and has been adopted by Nestlé for its Food Trust Initiative.