PSA International (PSA), Pacific International Lines (Pte)
Ltd (PIL), IBM Singapore (IBM) have successfully
concluded a blockchain-based supply chain trial.
PSA is one of the world’s largest port operators with over
40 terminals in 16 countries across Asia, Europe and the Americas and flagship
operations are in Singapore and Antwerp. PIL is ranked 11th amongst the top
containership operators in the world, offering container liner services and
multi-purpose services at over 500 locations in 100 countries worldwide
PSA, PIL and IBM signed a MOU in August 2017 to collaborate
on blockchain-based supply chain business network innovations. The objectives
included achieving better security, efficiency and transparency in regional
supply chain business networks, as well as connecting to trade finance
solutions that can facilitate faster approval and fraud prevention.
Following the signing of the MOU, the companies worked on a
Proof of Concept (POC) exercise, built on IBM Blockchain Platform, applying and
testing a blockchain-based supply chain platform to track and trace cargo
movement from Chongqing to Singapore via the Southern Transport Corridor.
The trial successfully achieved the
objectives of transparent and trustworthy execution of multimodal logistics
capacity booking and regulatory-compliant execution of multimodal logistics
capacity booking process. It enabled real-time track and trace and permissioned
access control for ecosystem participants.
The partners believe that there is now sufficient evidence
to show that the concept can be taken to the next stage. The scope of the POC
will be widened and the partners are eager to engage more participants from the
different nodes of the distribution network that form the supply chain
Roger Tan, Regional CEO Northeast Asia of PSA said, “PSA’s
collaboration alongside our partners and relevant stakeholders in this
Blockchain trial demonstrates our efforts to enhance physical and digital
connectivity, as well as to improve efficiencies along the global supply chain.
Ultimately, we hope to create value for our customers along the Southern Trade
Corridor – a key route in the Belt and Road initiative.”
“We are highly committed to this idea because we as a
company believe the wider application of blockchain across the global logistics
and shipping businesses will lead to much greater operating efficiencies, security
and transparency. It is the future for our industry,” commented Mr Teo Siong
Seng, Managing Director of PIL.
Blockchain is expected to transform the shipping industry, which
relies on large number of (often physical) documents passing through a long chain
of parties to ensure payments and delivery of cargo. Blockchain-based smart
contracts with their transparent information sharing can radically alter this
In January this year, A.P. Moller – Maersk, a global leader
in container logistics and IBM today announced
their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure
methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology. The two
organisations plan to jointly develop a global trade digitisation platform
built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping
ecosystem. According to the press release, customs and government authorities,
including Singapore Customs and Peruvian Customs, will explore collaborating
with the platform to facilitate trade flows and enhance supply chain security.
The global terminal operators APM Terminals and PSA International will use the
platform to enrich port collaboration and improve terminal planning. The
platform can also link users to important trade corridors in and out of China with
support from Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau by connecting to its
Global Quality Traceability System for import and export goods.
Looking beyond the shipping industry, blockchain has the
potential to bring significant benefits to the entire logistics industry, across
all stakeholders. Recently, Singapore announced collaborations with Hong
Kong and Japan
for blockchain-based cross-border trade platforms, which would lay the
foundation for a regional digitalised trade and supply chain platform in Asia.