IBM And Pacific International Lines (PIL) to Use Blockchain for Bill of Lading in Shipping and Tracking


IBM And Singapore’s Biggest Shipper To Develop Blockchain For Crucial Trade Paperwork

The giant of technology IBM and Pacific International Lines (PIL), which is one of the biggest shippers in Singapore, have made a recent partnership to digitalize one of the most important documents in shipping: the Bill of Landing.

These two companies will jointly design and create an electronic Bill of Landing called e-BL. The product will be based on the blockchain technology and it will be used in international trade, serving as an evidence of ownership of goods, receipt of shipment and contract of carriage. It will also be used by banks and other financial institutions to provide trade financing.

Using To Blockchain To Make The Process Easier

Bills of landing are generally handled by multiple parties, so the risk of losing them or even fraud is existing and worrisome. Because of this, it can be a very good solution to simply use the blockchain technology in this kind of situation as the e-BL will use the blockchain technology, which has an immutable ledger. It cannot be changed and it cannot be lost.

IBM is set to develop a technology that will reduce the handling costs of this important document and hope to reduce frauds. According to the executive director of PIL, Lisa Teo, the information flow is generally handled manually, which slows it down the whole process and make many communication gaps.

The blockchain, Teo believes, could be used to allow for a direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralized network in a way that will boost transparency and eliminate dispute forgeries and unnecessary risks for the industry.

This collaboration between the two companies is backed by some other figures like the Singapore Customs, Singapore Shipping Association, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Bank of China (Singapore) and Infocomm Media Development Authority.

Last year, PIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IBM for the e-BL initiative and to work on proof of concept blockchain solution that could enhance the efficiency of the supply chain network in the country. At the time, the CEO of the Port Authority Singapore, Tan Chong Mong, has pointed out that the blockchain technology could help in the global expansion of trade.

According to the CEO, the blockchain can reduce numerous inefficiencies and gaps that currently exist in the system at the moment, which will facilitate growth.

Last year, IBM has collaborated in another shipping line solution with Maersk Line, the biggest ocean container shipper in the world. The company used the Hyperledger Fabric technology as the framework for the technology.

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