PIL and IBM collaborate to trial Lunar New Year delivery using IBM Blockchain Platform
Pacific International Lines (“PIL”) has used an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM Blockchain Platform in a successful real-time pilot tracking shipment of mandarin oranges from China for the Lunar New Year celebrations.
With the use of IBM Blockchain powered e-BL, the trial has produced a significant reduction in the administrative process of transferring the title deed from five to seven days to just one second.
This is significant because the Bill of Lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment.
Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, and goods delivered more quickly and efficiently.
Hupco Pte Ltd (“Hupco”), a major importer in Singapore of mandarin oranges for the upcoming Lunar New Year, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of mandarin oranges (approximately 108,000 mandarin oranges).
For this trial, the consignee (Hupco) benefited from collecting their goods faster with the immediate receipt of the electronic Bill of Lading.
They also benefited from:
Lower operating costs such as electricity costs (charging for refrigerated cargo containers at the port while waiting for collection), storage costs (at port) and cost savings from enhanced equipment utilization;
Stronger provenance and real-time visibility of documents which is both traceable and tamper-proof;
Greater security by helping prevent document fraud, which comprises 40% of all maritime fraud.
The live trial follows the e-BL Proof of Concept which was announced in October 2018. PIL and IBM collaborated to digitize the lifecycle of negotiable and non-negotiable Bills of Lading on top of distributed ledger technology. The live trial is an important milestone because it validates how the system works in real-time conditions.
The e-BL platform gives various ecosystem players the convenience to manage a Bill of Lading digitally with accuracy and speed, including banks. A similar trial from Singapore to Brunei has taken place for negotiable e-BL with key stakeholders participating including Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC). The negotiable e-BL network establishes an extensible ecosystem which facilitates trade transactions and settlements, as the process of issuing Letter of Credit and Guarantee is enhanced.
The PIL-IBM collaboration announced in October 2018 was supported by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Shipping Association, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore Customs (National TradePlatform), and Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC). More information here.
Pacific International Lines (PIL) is the world’s 9th top containership operator and one of the largest shipowners in Southeast Asia. PIL owns and operates with a fleet of around 180 container and multi-purpose vessels, serving over 500 locations in 100 countries worldwide. The group has several business units such as container manufacturing, ship recycling, marine service, real estate, depot and logistics services. One of PIL’s subsidiaries, Singamas Container Holdings Ltd, is one of the largest container manufacturers in the world, with 9 manufacturing facilities and 11 depots in the Asian-Pacific region.
IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company's research, technical and business experts teams have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.