Major Japanese Shipping Company Pilots Blockchain Technology-Based International Shipping Service

Japanese multi-modal transport group, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) Ltd., has announced that it will conduct a trial on a Blockchain technology-based system to perform cross-border trade operations.

The main aim of the company is to verify the system’s effectiveness in reducing time-consuming paperwork and administrative costs.

Based on the press release issued by the company, the pilot run will be conducted in collaboration with several partners, namely, IBM Japan Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., and the Japan Research Institute.

Part of the release reads:

SMFG, SMBC, and JRI aim to use new information technologies proactively, thereby adapting to an increasingly fast-changing environment, and ultimately to become a more competitive and innovative financial group and continuously upgrade the quality of customer service. The demonstration test was planned with Silicon Valley Rep. Office. that conducts research on new technologies based on the PoC SMBC announced in February 2017. Through the application of blockchain technology to the safe-keeping of legal information, SMFG is committed to adding value and offering innovative new financial products and services.

The trial will be conducted by the partners by using the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain framework. The Hyperledger framework is an open-source platform that was developed by the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Blockchain consortium for the creation of cross-industry Blockchain technologies.

The consortium has already attracted members from different industries, including the supply chain, banking, ocean shipping, and Internet of Things (IoT).

During the pilot run, the Blockchain-based system will be utilized as a digital ledger of real trade transactions. The entire documentation made in the transactions including trade agreements and insurance will be recorded and remitted from peer-to-peer (P2P) within the Blockchain track. The results of the trial will then be compared to the traditional system used in conducting such trade deals.

Based on the trials already conducted in other industries, the Blockchain-based system has been proven to be able to conduct a cross-border transaction in just a matter of second without any regulations and restrictions imposed by any banking system or government. Because of its low cost and boundlessness, the system is slowly but surely gaining many devoted clientele all around the world.

With these touted benefits of the Blockchain-based system, it will be very interesting to see whether the MOL trial will be successful.

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