Blockchain In Supply Chain & Logistics
Two South Korean government ministries have launched a blockchain pilot for port logistics innovation, according to a press release from the country’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIT), published Dec. 18. MSIT, together with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, are reportedly testing whether the technology can make Korea’s container shipping industry more efficient. As the press release outlines, the pilot will run over a period of one year in the Port of Busan, the country’s largest port, and the fifth busiest container port worldwide.
Australian truck and transport insurance company National Transport Insurance (NTI) has revealed that it is partnering with BeefLedger, an Australian blockchain platform on a pilot program that will deploy blockchain technology for end-to-end tracking of Australian beef exports.
Aimed at improving food safety, export security and animal welfare in Australia, the program will use a distributed ledger platform alongside cutting-edge packaging technology and Internet of Things system to create and provide constant real-time data on beef product credentials and supply chain performance.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has successfully collaborated with IBM to pilot a blockchain supply chain system, according to an ADNOC press release published on Dec. 9.
The release notes that ADNOC — a state-owned oil company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — is reportedly among the world’s leading energy and petrochemical groups, with a daily output of about 3 million barrels of oil and 10.5 cubic feet of natural gas.
More companies are emphasizing traceability and accountability, and that certainly isn’t lost in the food sector. This simply isn’t just about fraud in the sector, but it also can help to prevent outbreaks, such as the recent E.Coli outbreak that has been linked to romaine lettuce.
Auchan is a supermarket retail giant headquartered in France that is taking steps to utilize blockchain to implement TE-FOOD’s blockchain-based food traceability solution. The corporation has international branches in countries such as China, India, Italy, Iraq, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Vietnam, and others. This follows an 18-month pilot period in its Vietnam branch, as well.
Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K. (NYK) is reportedly launching its own digital currency for crew members, Bloomberg reported Nov. 20.
Established in 1885, Nippon Yusen is Japan’s largest shipping line in terms of sales. From April 1 to Sept. 30, 2018, NYK Group’s consolidated revenue was 915.6 billion yen ($8.1 billion).
CargoX, a company that provides blockchain-based solutions for the shipping and logistics industry, announced the launch of its new decentralized, cryptographically secured public CargoX blockchain platform in a November 14 press release posted on the company’s website.
U.S. fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen has announced a second funding round to raise $200 million, mentioning blockchain among its key development areas, according to a press release published Tuesday, Nov. 13. Throughout the first round, closed late October, the company managed to raise $200 million, becoming valued at over $1 billion. During the second round led by major asset management company Fidelity Investments, the salad chain aims to raise an equal amount.
Swiss-based Transoil International and Solaris Commodities have conducted a blockchain pilot transaction of Black Sea wheat, S&P Global reports Nov. 12. Both companies are involved in the trading of international agricultural commodities like milling wheat, vegetable oil and flour. The two firms completed the pilot using the blockchain-based agri-commodities trading and financing platform of Swiss startup Cerealia.
More than a third of German logistics managers believe that blockchain technology has the potential to significantly improve cooperation in supply chains, according to a Hermes survey published Nov. 12.
The survey polled participants on which technologies they believed were important for improving cooperation within the supply chain. 35 percent of respondents recognized the importance of blockchain, while 33 percent said that big data is important.
Nine major terminal operators and shipping companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch an open digital platform based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), The Maritime Executive, a major industry source for maritime and marine news, reported Nov. 6.
The MoU, aimed at forming a consortium to develop a shipping industry blockchain alliance dubbed the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), has been signed by the world’s leading shipping operators during the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov. 6.
The Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), Spain, has integrated into the TradeLens platform, a blockchain ecosystem jointly developed by IBM and shipping giant Maersk, according to an official announcement published Nov. 5. Launched in August 2018, the TradeLens platform applies blockchain technology to global supply chains. The product aims to improve trade efficiency and security, wherein all participants of the supply chain, including shipping lines, port and terminal operators, customs authorities and other parties, can interact and access shipping data and documents.
The world’s largest diamond mining firm, Russia’s Alrosa, has joined the pilot of fellow industry giant De Beers’ diamond supply chain blockchain platform “Tracr,” mining industry news outlet Mining Weekly reports Oct. 29. Alrosa is reported to be the world’s largest producer of raw diamonds in carat terms; together with De Beers, the two firms produce around half of the world’s supply. In Q3 2018, the firm’s rough diamond sales rose 12 percent year-on-year to $949 million in value, even as sales in carats declined.
DexFreight, a blockchain start-up that is building a freight transportation platform using Rootstock (RSK), has announced that it successfully facilitated a shipment of frozen food between Medley and Sunrise, Florida. DexFreight’s smart contracts, which rely on the Bitcoin blockchain rather than the more-often used Ethereum, enabled the successful delivery and automated the payment to the carrier, Arel Trucking.
The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s busiest seaport, has partnered with Dutch Bank ABN AMRO and the IT division of technology giant Samsung to launch a blockchain pilot program to track shipping containers, according to an October 22 press release. The foundation of the blockchain pilot will be the Nexledger platform, which was released by Samsung in 2017. The Nexledger platform will reportedly be linked to the R3 Corda blockchain chain used by ABN AMRO. This interoperability between different blockchains – achieved “via an overarching ‘notary’ that connects entirely separate blockchains in Korea and the Netherlands” – will theoretically allow everyone involved in the pilot program to access pertinent information related to the tracking of shipping containers.
LONDON (Reuters) – The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is planning to help modernise and improve transparency in the industry with an approval process for companies using blockchain technology to track the movement of gold.
19-Oct-18 Blockchain-enabled supply chain platform ensures legal flow of products through the Canadian cannabis market
As the Canadian Government’s Cannabis Act finally legalized Cannabis on October 17, 2018, Greenstream is poised to provide a comprehensive technology solution to the Canadian Cannabis industry. This might just be a very lucrative ‘niche’ in the market now that Canada virtually sold out of weed merely one day after lifting the prohibition.
Greenstream is developing and commercializing a blockchain-enabled supply chain integrity platform to ensure the safe, legal and authenticated flow of products and value through the cannabis market. It has made significant progress on the development of its technology and related infrastructure since its acquisition by BLOK Tech in January 2018.
IBM has been flirting with blockchain technology for years. The former PC manufacturer has quietly built multiple blockchain technologies while more obviously innovating in spaces like artificial intelligence with its Watson technology. One area of keen interest as to what the blockchain is capable of is product information, tracking, and so forth. More specifically, food safety and supply chain transparency. Immutable ledgers and open databases are a boon to industries with often chaotic supply chains, and the food industry, from production to sales, is chief among these industries.
Former JPMorgan executive Blythe Masters predicts “tens if not hundreds” of blockchain projects will soon increase the efficiency of commodity markets, Bloomberg reports Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Masters, who since leaving the investment banking giant has become CEO of her own software outfit Digital Asset Holdings, said commodity supply chains would greatly benefit from the advent of distributed ledger technology.
“Supply chains are notoriously complex and inefficient,” she told attendees of the invite-only London Metal Exchange (LME) annual dinner, quoted by Bloomberg.
U.S. tech giant IBM has officially launched its blockchain-based food tracking network, Food Trust, after 18 months of testing, the company revealed in a press-release Monday, October 8.
In the same announcement, the corporation revealed that another major food retailer Carrefour is joining their ecosystem. The France-based company that operates more than 12,000 stores in 33 countries will first test blockchain on their own stores. As IBM’s press release reports, by 2022 Carrefour is planning to expand blockchain to all of its brands around the world.
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U.S.-based technology company Ideanomics has partnered with the Asia-Pacific Model Electronic Port Network (APMEN) Trade Tech Co. to streamline supply chains with blockchain tech, a press release reports Thursday, September 20.
Together with APMEN Trade Tech Co., Ideanomics aims to leverage blockchain and what it calls “super artificial intelligence” to cut out “layers of middlemen” in port clearance and shipping handling for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) online port clearance system.
The first instigation of the tools will take place in two major Chinese ports, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the former holding the title of the world’s busiest port in 2017.
Albert Heijn, Holland’s largest supermarket chain, has revealed it is using blockchain to make the production chain of its orange juice transparent, International Supermarket News reports September 21.
Albert Heijn will reportedly launch the new blockchain system in partnership with its supplier, Refresco. To give customers’ maximum information about the source of Albert Heijn’s own-brand “sustainable” product, they will be able to scan a QR code on the orange juice carton that will trace the end-to-end route of its production, from Brazil to the Netherlands.
The system will reportedly store data that reveals the quality and sustainability ratings held by various produce growers, as well as information about the fruits themselves — including their harvesting period and sweetness intensity. The system will further enable customers to tip, using a “Like2Farmer” option.
UK’s leading port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), has signed an agreement with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to develop blockchain use for port logistics, Dry Bulk magazine reports Wednesday, September 19.
Under the agreement with Marine Transport International, ABP — which operates in 21 ports and carries out 25 percent of the cargo shipments in Great Britain — will take part in pilot shipments using blockchain technology.
Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group will start to use a blockchain platform to track diamonds, the South China Morning Post reported September 12.
Chow Tai Fook has reportedly put some of its diamonds on a blockchain platform developed by blockchain startup Everledger and secured by the IBM Blockchain Platform. This will reportedly enable the retailer’s customers to ascertain the origin and authenticity of stones sold in its T Mark-branded stores, using a T Mark app.
The T Mark was an initiative started by the company in August of last year, which assigns a series of serial numbers to certain stones so that their provenance and transaction history can be more easily authenticated.
Lloyd’s Register (LR), a British tech and business maritime classification society, has created a model of a blockchain-powered class register of ships, according to an official press release published September 4.
LR’s new class register is reportedly “the first demonstrator that can register ships into Class” by deploying blockchain technology. Originally, LR published the first “Register of Ships” in 1764 in order to provide both underwriters and merchants with information about the condition and quality of vessels they insured and chartered.
In order to transform the system that was introduced in the eighteenth century, LR has partnered with London-based blockchain firm Applied Blockchain. By applying the new “Class register,” the company intends to boost the classification and registration of new ships, as well as launch a prototype blockchain-based register service.
One of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will launch a live test of a blockchain-based shipment tracking system, tech news and media agency GSN reports August 24.
In the upcoming test, the CBP will reportedly combine two separate systems: the CPB’s legacy application and a blockchain-powered platform developed by the agency’s parent body — and the country’s primary border control organization — the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
22-Aug-18 CASE STUDY: How ScanTrust Brought Transparency to the Supply Chain with Hyperledger Sawtooth
ScanTrust wanted to enhance its offering in supply chain traceability and help their client, Cambio Coffee, bring more transparency to their ethical trade business.
ScanTrust used Hyperledger Sawtooth to build a blockchain-enabled traceability function for their existing application.
Century-old delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS) believes that blockchain technology could help streamline package delivery logistics across a global supply chain.
According to documents published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, the Georgia-based UPS has applied for a patent that utilizes blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to route packages throughout an international supply chain that may include multiple carriers.
The patent application, which UPS originally filed on Feb. 16, explains that while shipping logistics providers have become quite adept at optimizing package routing to increase efficiency and minimize costs, it is still difficult to coordinate logistics for shipments that involve more than one logistics service provider transportation network.
IBM and Danish transport and logistics giant Maersk have launched their global blockchain-enabled shipping solution, according to an official press release today, August 9.
The new jointly developed blockchain solution revealed 94 organizations involved and 154 million shipping events already captured. The global supply chain platform has been dubbed ‘TradeLens,’ and its dataset is reportedly growing at a rate of close to one million shipping events a day.
According to the press release, the platform is able to track critical data about each shipment in a supply chain in real time, generating a distributed, immutable record on the fly.
Consulting giant Accenture has plans to use blockchain to upgrade its logistics network, a patent application published July 26 reveals.
According to the document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the corporation wants to follow in the footsteps of various major players in leveraging blockchain to secure, speed up and increase the efficiency of logistics movements.
South Korea’s Lotte Global Logistics, a major Seoul-headquartered logistics and shipping firm, has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), FreightWaves reported Monday, July 9.
The BiTA trade association was formed in 2017 to popularize and develop blockchain applications in the transport and logistics industries, as well as to establish industry standards for adoption of the technology. The alliance uses OriginTrail, a purpose-built protocol for supply chains based on blockchain, and counts around 400 participants as members.
Lotte Global, for its part, is a full-service logistics provider, overseeing warehouse management, intermodal import/export terminals and customs clearance, parcel delivery, and moving freight by air, rail, and truckload. According to the company site, its transportation resources for parcel delivery form “the largest network in [South] Korea.”
South Online metal concentrates exchange Open Mineral is seeking to build a consortium of mining companies and financial institutions to create a blockchain system for minerals trading and logistics.
Swiss-based Open Mineral said in a statement on Monday it was joining forces with U.S. blockchain start-up ConsenSys to establish Minerac, aiming to make mineral trading and supply chains more efficient.
“Logistics are complex, financing is difficult to acquire and the entire process is very paper heavy,” said Open Mineral Chief Executive Boris Eykher.
Walmart has yet another delivery-focused blockchain patent in the works.
The application published on July 5 is entitled “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method,” and as suggested, it outlines a way for managing package reservations in the context of the purchaser not being available to actually receive it.
It’s the latest “smart delivery” intellectual property play from the retail giant, which in the past year has submitted a number of U.S. patent applications in this area. Indeed, the company seems to be looking at the technology as a way to automate elements of the delivery process, but to date, much of the company’s public-facing work with blockchain has been focused on food supply chain tracking.
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