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This article was published on September 19, 2018

    UK shipping giant floats blockchain as a solution to sink supply chain woes

    Let's hope the project stays afloat

    UK shipping giant floats blockchain as a solution to sink supply chain woes
    Matthew Beedham
    Story by

    Matthew Beedham

    Editor, SHIFT by TNW

    Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

    The UK’s leading port operator is planning to explore blockchain as a possible tool to improve the performance of British shipyards.

    Associated British Ports (ABP) today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to work with blockchain logistics developers, Marine Transport International (MTI), Dry Bulk Magazine reports.

    ABP operates some 21 ports all over the UK, and is responsible for processing 25 percent of the nation’s seafaring freight.

    This partnership will see the two companies work together to examine how blockchain can be used to increase efficiency and throughput at ports across the UK. Of course, these “solutions” are yet to be developed so the specifics of how the tech will be used, remains to be seen.

    Currently, every member in a supply chain uses a different computer system to track shipments. In some cases, data has to be manually input from one system to another when shipments arrive at port.

    Naturally, this is a less than efficient system. ABP claims it will create a blockchain-based solution which allows all members of a supply chain to communicate more easily and efficiently – on one, unified system.

    Indeed, the use of blockchain suggests that it will be secure, immutable, and transparent. This should prevent any illicit tampering with shipments as they pass through the supply chain.

    Of course, it is yet to be seen if the solution can deliver on these promises.

    Blockchain is big business in the shipping world. This isn’t the first instance of the decentralized technology being used to aid in the processing of large cargo shipments. Earlier this year a sizeable amount of almonds was sent from Australia to Germany, tracked entirely on blockchain.