Blockchain and the Shipping Business
The Blockchain is a shared database that works as a book for the registration of purchase and sale operations or any other commercial transaction. It is the technological basis of the operation of the bitcoin, for example.
For a long time, the shipping industry was affected by the poor digitization of the sector. This resulted in an increase of problems in the supply chain, which more often than not saw the process of moving the goods to the destination ports become complicated and lengthy.
The growing need to update the sector, as well as the search for more collaborative logistics, has led to the implementation of efficient business ecosystems such as the Blockchain.
This technology has contributed positively in the maritime transfer of products. In fact, it has meant a notable improvement in the efficiency of the sector, since it has simplified and accelerated the flow of information distributed among the parties (exporters, importers, customs, transporters, among others.)
One of its main benefits is its ability to reduce or even eradicate paperwork. In the maritime transfer of products, between exporter and importer, there is a great amount of documents to be presented. The review of all this information can slow down the procedure and, in addition, increase the price of the transported goods. Simplifying, therefore, this informative process means an improvement in time and effectiveness within the sector.
Advantages and Benefits of Blockchain Technology.
- Among the main benefits of the implementation of this technology the following can be highlighted:
- A solution for some of the main problems of the current maritime transport.
- The information and document management is very complicated, so this type of technology is a simplification of processes, saving time and effort to agents involved in the maritime transport of goods, reducing risks in the process.
Blockchain allows a transparent and safer trade, by making available to the agents all the documentation in an electronic way. In this way, it is possible to access the document’s route and any changes that have been made to the invoices and purchase orders, which helps to guarantee its authenticity and integrity. With the use of this system it will be possible to know, at all times, where the goods are, as well as the certificates of origin and sale.
This is something very useful when we encounter products of a sensitive nature.
Distribution of Direct and Uniform Information
This system works with collaborative platforms and tools that imply a saving of time, as well as an improvement in the quality of the information. In this way, the process is unified and automated and, at the same time, the risk of information leaks is reduced. The implementation of this system means the reduction of operational and administrative costs.
Nowadays, most of the international exports and imports are made by means of maritime transport. Being the engine of the global economy. However, despite the growth of our sector, there has been little investment and therefore evolution in the processes, something that has resulted in an increase of problems in the supply chain.
The implementation of the Blockchain technology, consequently, means a remarkable improvement in the data exchange, helping to simplify and speed up the maritime logistic process at a global level.
It eliminates the need for printed documentation, accelerating the logistics operations of cargo and reducing the risk of penalties.
In short, we can say that not only does it save time and effort, but it also implies considerable economic savings for the sector and gives transparency to the whole process.
To conclude, just as the emergence of the container transformed world trade and global shipping during the 60’s and 70’s, Blockchain is fundamentally impacting the way the shipping industry approaches the exchange of information between the parties.
Technology has the potential to change the way stakeholders operate and interact along the global shipping value chain.
By Maury Molina