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Marine Transport International pilots blockchain technology

Oct 13, 2017
A successful pilot programme delivered by logistics technology company Marine Transport International (MTI) has demonstrated that the logistics industry will see improved connectivity, efficiency and security thanks to blockchain technology (see The Mover, July 2017, Page 8).

MTI and Agility Sciences have recently 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 leaders at Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC)*.

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 of improving 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.

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

Jody explained that the blockchain has proven 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 cyberattacks that have left large shipping lines, such as Maersk, completely paralysed and unable to serve clients. A blockchain-enabled supply chain is highly resilient to cyberattack – 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 remains safe.

“The business case for connecting supply chains using blockchain is very strong,” said Jody. “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.”

Karim Jabbar, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen added, “This 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.”

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

Photo: Blockchain technology will have far reaching consequences for the logistics industry.

* BLOC is a network of public and private participants and large talent pools that have come together to build end-to-end blockchain solutions that meet common needs and create shared value.



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