Blockchain — gaining traction on the high seas?
In the wake of news last year that tech giant IBM and Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk had joined forces to offer a blockchain-based shipping solution called TradeLens, other shipping firms have joined the consortium. The additional firms, as reported, include CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, with the consortium making up half of the cargo sent globally.
The move toward logistics done across blockchain seeks to move away from manual and paper-based processes, where tracking items from source to dock is less than efficient. As widely reported, blockchain provides an immutable record of goods as they move across supply chains, where parties agree to, and complete, contract terms — and data is encrypted.
“We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation,” said Rajesh Krishnamurthy, executive vice president for IT & Transformations at CMA CGM.
Separately, Honeywell International is adopting blockchain to track used aircraft components across various markets, with an eye toward sourcing parts, and providing ease and speed of transactions. That comes as the Honeywell Aerospace unit said it has debuted an online marketplace, underpinned by blockchain, which matches hundreds of buyers and sellers in real time as they buy and sell aircraft parts.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the aircraft parts market has been dominated by inefficiencies, with manual processes — such as phone calls and paper documentation — slowing transactions. The fact remains, too, that the marketplaces are heavily regulated, with aviation agencies requiring the certification of parts. Blockchain can help track parts, and who owned them, as they make their way across transactions and Honeywell’s marketplace, known as GoDirect Trade. The marketplace has seen $2 million in sales, with the average transaction standing at $8,000. Companies that sell parts are charged a fee of $15,000 to join the marketplace — there is no fee for buyers.
Honeywell Aerospace, reported WSJ, first deployed the blockchain system based on open-source blockchain technology called Hyperledger.
“The goal was to digitize [the marketplace]. If I need it frictionless, and remove human interaction, I need a technology that will create trust. That’s where blockchain came in,” said Sathish Muthukrishnan, chief digital and information officer at Honeywell Aerospace.
Beyond the U.S., Cointelegraph reported that the Dubai Land Department (DLD) — the real estate arm of the Executive Council of Dubai — has partnered with UAE-based Mashreq Bank. The enterprises are debuting a blockchain-based mortgage platform, which will be geared toward mortgage record-keeping, with updates across each stage of mortgage transactions. Cointelegraph also said last year that it had endorsed a blockchain platform from du, a telecom company.