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Modern Terminal, Hong Kong's second largest container terminal operator, joined the TradeLens project, a blockchain-enabled technology solution developed by Maersk and IBM.
TradeLens' ecosystem – writes Modern Terminals in its press release – seeks to digitize and optimize processes in the global supply chain to offer greater efficiency and lower costs. It includes over 20 port operators and terminals worldwide, with approximately 234 docks on five continents, including the Port of Valencia, the PSA Singapore, the Patrick terminals, the port of Halifax, the port of Bilbao, PortBase, PortConnect and the Port of Philadelphia.
Larger economic savings
The inefficiencies of the traditional supply chain have suffered losses of the order of billions of dollars in the last decade, according to Liaison.
Prior to TradeLens, most of the ports mentioned above worked primarily with paper documents, open to damage, manipulation and total loss. Container ships still carry documents for immediate verification that hinder the flow of their supply chain, eventually causing delays and shipping errors through manual archiving.
"It does not look like much, but it is," said Peter Levesque, Group Managing Director of Modern Terminals, to SCMP. "Without blockchain, you will continue to believe that what is there in the document is what is in the container."
The TradeLens solution states that their trial has reduced shipping time by 40%, leading to a general economic savings for participants in the supply chain. The use of the digital ledger allowed the participants to transmit the status of a container in a supply chain in real time, so that the records would become immutable and available at the same time.
"The potential to offer a neutral, open digital platform for a secure and easy way to exchange information is enormous, and all players in the supply chain will benefit," Maersk's chief sales executive, Vincent Clerc, said in January.
Modern terminals also join the TradeLens port group as a member of the network to evaluate the same: the performance of the platform in real time. Based on the results, each port would offer its suggestions for further improvement of TradeLens.
"This initiative will generate huge savings for our industry over time, while improving the security of the global supply chain," said Levesque. "That's the Holy Grail – a place to see everything [supply chain] in one place. "
Maersk and IBM are not the only companies that are taking advantage of the blockchain to improve supply chain management. Crimson Logic, a Singapore-based company, is also developing a blockchain solution called Global eTrade Services to do virtually the same thing that TradeLens is doing.
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