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India successfully tests blockchain-based bills of lading processing

India is harnessing blockchain technology as it prepares for a paperless maritime supply chain.

Image by dayamay / Pixabay

Tue, 16 Jun 2020, 04:34 am UTC

India is modernizing its maritime supply chains with the digitalization of all trade documents including bills of lading. For added security and transparency, the country is harnessing blockchain technology and is now moving its Port Community System (PCS) into the ultra-secure platform.

CargoX, a Slovenia-based logistics company, has already integrated its Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) with the country’s Port Community System, according to WorldCargoNews. India’s PCS was built by Portall Infosystems, a J.M. Baxi Group subsidiary known for its state-of-the-art logistics management application.

The need to move toward a digitized maritime supply chain has been highlighted with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. According to TheLoadStar, the existing paper-based processes have hampered container shipping as the government imposed lockdowns and social distancing as measures to slow down the spread of the virus. These factors eventually lead to port congestion.

In response to this need, the country’s ministry of shipping authorized the trial run using the bills of lading submitted through Portall’s PCS using CargoX’s blockchain platform, the BDT. The test run was a success and India’s shipping stakeholders can now transfer bills of lading electronically using blockchain.

Alejandro Gutierrez, the founder of logistics network Forward Together, participated in the trial run using live shipments with Global Transitions, Tech Cargo, DeeEs Engineers India Project, and Parsteel Shelving Co/Atlas Mega Steel.

“The ability to conduct shipment transactions and transfers of ownership without the need for human physical interaction creates a breakthrough case for freight forwarding and logistics, especially when health measures are so important,” Gutierrez said. Throughout the process, a blockchain-protected bill of lading was used instead of the usual manual handling of paperwork, eliminating the need for human contact.

CargoX’s blockchain-based solutions ensure the timely and secure delivery of important shipping documents. The system also reduces the document transfer cost while allowing personnel to maintain social distancing protocols put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these times of multiple risks to our common society, we are proud to help shipping companies, which represent the backbone of the economy, resolve supply chain document-sending issues and enable them to meet delivery deadlines everywhere in the world in a secure and efficient manner, while also lowering the document transfer cost,” CargoX CEO and founder Stefan Kukman said.

“We saw that there was a good fit between the companies,” Portall president Manish Jaiswal said, expressing his satisfaction with his firm’s partnership with CargoX. “Both Portall and CargoX are fairly young, but the teams have domain-rich knowledge and bring expertise from various facets of the industry.”

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