Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has announced a collaboration with COSCO Shipping Lines (COSCO), Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and the Shanghai Research Institute of Chemical Industry Testing Co., Ltd (SICIT) in harnessing blockchain technology.
The four companies have leveraged blockchain technology together to achieve an industry first proof-of-concept that helps enhance transportation safety in the shipping industry.
A new streamlined process has been designed, by harnessing GSBN’s blockchain-enabled platform, to ensure that safe chemical transportation certificates and the information they contain can be verified from the original source, and that the information is accurate and reliable, according to GSBN.
The four companies have developed a successful proof-of-concept with shipper and electrical appliances manufacturer, Midea, to demonstrate this streamlined process.
GSBN has reported that both COSCO and OOCL will be able to verify certificates obtained by Midea for their cargo directly with SICIT, over GSBN.
GSBN’s blockchain-enabled infrastructure ensures that the certificate data is immutable and structured and can be verified as the single source of truth, according to the company.
This is anticipated to reduce human error, enhance security of the cargo, and accelerate the process overall.
It is also expected to facilitate the advancement in automated verification in the future, as well as the circulation of reliable certificate data stored on the blockchain among multiple parties.
According to GSBN, special cargo with designated goods, such as chemicals and lithium batteries, should be certified as safe to transport before they are handed over to logistics and shipping companies for export.
GSBN argues this is crucial because carriers will manage the transportation based on the corresponding certification to mitigate the risk of potential accidents and protect crew.
Shippers would traditionally collect the certificate from an accreditation body and provide the document either as a hard copy or as a scanned copy to the carriers.
GSBN reports that certificates shared in this form can be hard to verify for the carriers and subsequent transportation companies in the supply chain, thus carrying risks such as mislabelling and fraud.
“Aside from enhancing transportation safety, the streamlined digital process also increases the overall efficiency, minimises human error caused during manual data entry, and provides greater transparency to all parties across the supply chain,” said Gaojun Wang, Director of Information Technology Department at SICIT.
Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN, said: “The use of blockchain infrastructure in this proof-of-concept with SICIT allows for systematic and trusted verification to happen directly with SICIT, which, combined with the future application of data from IoT devices, will make a significant difference in risk reduction and efficiency enhancement overall.”
This collaboration comes less than a month after GSBN announced a collaboration with Kaleris, a supply chain technology solutions provider, to expand access to digital supply chain solutions.