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Global Shipping Industry To Be Significantly Altered By Blockchain Technology

Global Shipping Industry To Be Significantly Altered By Blockchain Technology
Millions and millions of paper documents still form the basis for operations of some of the most advanced trading networks in the world – created because of globalization de4pswite the fact that the biggest, fastest vessels and robot-operated ports and huge computer data bases are made use of in such networks.
But now the world’s most complex logistics system is set to get an upgrade by the teaming up of A.P. Moeller-Maersek A/S and a number of other container shipping companies along with technology companies.
But the main challenge of the new system is the getting on the same platform for not only the very vast networks of the shipping companies but a host of other agencies and companies such as manufacturers, banks, insurers, brokers and port authorities. Together these companies and agencies would be required to work out a protocol for the integration of all of the new systems onto one vast platform.
And if this project comes off, some of the documentation that takes days will get completed in minutes with a large portion not requiring any human intervention. It would also result in a dramatic drop in the cost of moving goods through continents.  
“This would be the biggest innovation in the industry since the containerization,” said Rahul Kapoor, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Singapore. “It basically brings more transparency and efficiency. The container shipping lines are coming out of their shells and playing catch-up in technology.”
Blockchain is the key here as in so many other industries. This technology is essentially an electronic ledger system which allows autonomous verification of transactions. And according to the World Economic Forum, an additional $1 trillion could be added to global trade because of enhanced communications and border administration with the help of blockchain.
There can be requirements for hundreds of pages of paper work for the a single shipment that starts off when a a cargo owner books space on a ship to move goods.
“The paperwork and processes vital to global trade are also one of its biggest burdens,” according to Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. The company has already teamed up with International Business Machines Corp to allow itself and its clients real -time tracking for its cargo and documents with the use of blockchain technology “The paper trail research that Maersk did uncovered the extent of the burden that documents and processes inflict on trade and the consequences.”
However, APL told the media: “Not all stakeholders are looking at deploying the same blockchain solution and platforms.” “This can pose as a challenge if stakeholders are expected to trade via a common platform or solution.”
Therefore, it is still an arduous road ahead for the shipping industry in persuading ports and other agencies related to cargo trading for adoption of the block chain technology.
“Shipping needs to stop thinking about itself as this standalone middle sector,” said K D Adamson, chief executive officer of Futurenautics Group. “It needs to start thinking about how the different elements of shipping fit into other ecosystems.”

Christopher J. Mitchell

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