Receiving the message “shipment on hold,” without knowing “why?” is a normal, though distressing, experience for many companies.
What if you could leverage a technology that removed the mystery behind the weak spots, a technology that provided traceability and transparency of the entire shipping process? What if the question of “why” could be answered immediately through automation so that a resolution could be provided swiftly? Blockchain is the answer to these pain points in the supply chain process.
While many aspects of the supply chain process seem the same, the use of blockchain can radically alter results. In the scenario above, the parts supplier readies its product for international shipping and the shipment is added to blockchain. As the container awaits transfer to a port, officials submit approvals electronically. Blockchain confirms the transaction and self-executes the smart contract, releasing the shipment. The container is loaded on to the ship and is on its way. All parties have end-to-end visibility of the container’s progress through the supply chain. The container arrives at the destination port and clears customs. You receive your parts on time and sign electronically. Crisis averted.
The ocean freight industry accounts for 90% of goods in global trade, but transport remains highly dependent on a flood of paperwork that is never digitized.³ Manual and inefficient processes in the supply chain can lead to significant delays and mistakes with dire and expensive consequences for many companies and their customers. On the whole, platforms, systems, and designations remain firmly entrenched in old silos. For example, a freight forwarder may use a different ERP system than a port or the end producer. Each participant may use different database structures and terminology or may take records with different levels of detail. Spreadsheets and paper-based record keeping are still prominent across many aspects of supply and logistics. Because of this, as soon as one party emails a spreadsheet to a counterpart, the information is already out of date and difficult to trace, confirm, and secure.