Blockchain Improves Shipping Supply-Chain

IBM has been actively applying blockchain in various areas where it can have a significant effect.  Recently IBM devised a blockchain solution for the shipping industry.  IBM collaborated with the global shipping company Maersk to devise the strategy, says Gaurav Mohindra.  Their collaboration started in 2017 and led to the launch of a new platform named TradeLens.  TradeLens is a blockchain platform that can track shipping containers.

Shipping companies have been signing up to leverage TradeLens, and as a result, the platform is accumulating more data to effectively track and improve its analytics.  One of the key features of TradeLens is that it is neutral and governed on open standards.  Neutrality and open standards are the basis of many blockchain platforms. 

Recently, shipping companies Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express, two of the largest shipping companies in the world, announced that they would join the TradeLens platform.  With the addition of these two new companies, TradeLens now has 5 of the largest 6 shipping companies on its platform.  These five companies account for roughly 60% of the ocean-going cargo.  Mediterranean Shipping and CMA CGM SA are two of the largest shipping companies in the world and had agreed to join TradeLens earlier this year.  Having large industry players join TradeLens is a big deal, it legitimizes the platform and encourages smaller companies to join the platform, says Gaurav Mohindra.

blockchain Supply-Chain

The platform permits users to share information on goods as it passes through trade supply chains.  The benefit of this is that data maintains its integrity and as result shipping containers can be traced from origin to final destination, with the entire journey and en route ports captured and validated along the way.  The platform will reduce the cost of the typical maritime supply chain administration such as paperwork and chain authentication.  The paperwork and administration of typical maritime supply chain is a significant cost metric of shipping.  As a result, TradeLens should reduce overall shipping costs, says Gaurav Mohindra.

TradeLens is not the only shipping oriented blockchain platform.  Cosco shipping, a large Chinese shipping company, is participating in Global Business Network (GBN).  GBN is a blockchain platform being leveraged by Asian shipping companies in a similar way as TradeLens.  As more and more companies become comfortable with such blockchain platforms, and interoperability and compatibility between competing systems will likely emerge.   The key to success for any such platform is to have wide-acceptance and participation from many companies, having more participants will increase the electronic ledger recordings and improve the integrity and validity of the platforms.


Blockchain is well on its Way to Become the New Internet

Blockchain technologies are still receiving a lot of attention. Looking back it was really an untamed journey on the crypto rollercoaster. Altcoins experienced huge growth, as well as attention, says Gaurav Mohindra. Part of this can be attributed to Bitcoin’s wild journey of all-time highs, massive investor speculation, followed by enormous amendments.  In fact, Bitcoin has already surged in early 2019 is trading over $5000 for the first time in 2019.

Despite the practical use cases of Bitcoin, one of its most beneficial attributes was introducing crypto-currency and Blockchain to the world. Whether or not one understood its utility, it most certainly attracted investment dollars and general attention.

Web 3.0 – The New Internet

Cryptocurrencies exist on Blockchain and some consider it a new form of Internet. Actually, the Blockchain technology will power Web 3.0 which some people refer to as the new Internet. For most the people this is an unfamiliar term. Here’s some particulars:

There are many definitions of Web 3.0. PC Mag calls it connective intelligence. Connective intelligence refers to the next generation of data, applications, and concepts where a trusted dealer like a bank or tech corporation in the center is not required to ensure solitude and most importantly security.

Digital currency is one highly discussed use case for Blockchain technology, but there are many applications where it can be equally powerful. Gaurav Mohindra has identified these industries most likely to be impacted by Blockchain:

  • Healthcare (Medical Records)
  • Real estate/Automobile transfers (Title Transfer)
  • Politics/Government (Voting)
  • Education (Transcripts, records and diplomas)

Until now, the focus has been mainly on cryptocurrencies, but soon, the platform and efficacy tokens will become the spotlight. Both of these components are essential as they help describe the next invention of the Internet.

The leading Blockchain podium is going to be the major building block for the latest Internet and as the present battle goes, Ethereum is winning.  Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based platform and OS having a scripting functionality. A token, referred to as Ether, is generated by the Ethereum platform. Ether can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant mining nodes for computations performed.  Ethereum provides a versatile applicability that will be attractive to a many industries.

Wrapping Up

As above said, it is going to be a very interesting year. Decentralized apps will continue to flood into the market says Gaurav Mohindra. And we all can see the platform for the internet of the upcoming solidifies itself within the market.   There are numerous industries that can be positively impacted by Blockchain.  The healthcare industry, often an early technology adopter, can leverage blockchain for medical record management.  Similarly, real estate and automobile transactions can benefit from transferring title through a secure unique modality.

Look out for value creating enterprises who innovatively build out effective solutions.

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