HMM completes first blockchain pilot voyage on reefer vessel

South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has announced the completion of its first blockchain technology pilot voyage on a reefer-laden container vessel, and is planning on a second blockchain pilot voyage with dry containers.

HMM, together with other members of the shipping and logistics blockchain consortium, conducted the first pilot voyage from South Korea’s Busan to China’s Qingdao on the reefer vessel from 24 August to 4 September.

“HMM applied the blockchain technology to this pilot voyage - from shipment booking to cargo delivery - and reviewed the feasibility of adopting the technology into shipping and logistics. Combining the blockchain technology with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology was also tested and reviewed through real-time monitoring and managing of the reefer containers on the vessel as well,” HMM said.

The shipowner said documents have been securely shared among the parties through public-key cryptography, and paperless operation has been utilised for the vessel arrival/departure such as bill of lading and booking information.

“HMM is planning on its second pilot voyage in October with dry containers with expanded blockchain technology procedures and IoT technology in more diverse destinations such as India, China, and Thailand. HMM will continue reviewing the blockchain technology focusing on technical issues and systematic improvements until end of this year to adopt the technology,” the company said.

HMM added that the shipping and logistics blockchain consortium, established in May this year among Korean logistics companies, the government and state-run research centre, have been carrying out various studies on adopting the blockcgain technology in shipping logistics.

Apart from HMM, some other key global shipping players have already displayed interests in applying blockchain technology to their business operations.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Danish shipping group AP Moller-Maersk has teamed up with seven other companies to launch the world’s first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector, set to be commercially available from 2018.

Last month, Japanese carriers K Line, NYK and MOL participated in a consortium set up to develop trade data sharing platform using blockchain technology. In the same month, Pacific International Lines (PIL), PSA International and IBM Singapore signed a pact to explore and trial proof of concept to develop blockchain technology in the supply chain business.

Posted 07 September 2017

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Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent

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