Blockchain for Global Shipping

Global shipping has expanded in many ways over the years, with new technologies changing the way processes are carried out, and improvements made to expedite transactions as the global demand grows for timelier access. One such technology that has changed the way the world works is Blockchain and it is being used the world over in different industries. However, today, we look at Blockchain for Global Shipping!

First, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details. What is Blockchain? Blockchain is essentially a distributed database that exists on multiple computers that are constantly updated at the same time. It means that as the distributed database grows, a new set of records or what is called “Blocks” are added creating a virtual chain of blocks. Each new block added will refer to the previous block and each database will remain updated with identical copies of the records. This digital ledger technology is based on cryptography and by design, the records are resistant to change with each transaction made remaining on record.

The technology was initially put to use by financial transactions to forgo the need for a financial institution and for the use of digital currency/payments use. This led it to be used in other industries for paperless transactions through a digital ledger system. This paperless system is an ideal choice for the shipping industry and blockchain for global shipping can revolutionize the way processes are carried out between parties (such as cargo buyers/sellers, carriers, banks, shipping agents, customs/port authorities, etc).  With Blockchain for global shipping these parties can carry out transactions, exchange information pertaining in an encrypted manner and also echancge payment securely.

Blockchain for global shipping brings many benefits to the different parties involved during a supply chain’s milestones. During each milestone a variety of shipping documents are drawn up and with the use of blockchain for global shipping, the likes of contracts for sales, bills of lading, letters of credit and more. Documents such as bills of lading traditionally passes many hands and is a time consuming process which can be resolved with the use of blockchain in global shipping transactions.

With the likes of IBM and Maersk launching their TradeLens ecosystem to facilitate blockchain for global shipping and supply chain systems, the world is becoming more and more on trend, and will soon be the norm the world over.