Chinese collaborate to harness blockchain technology for chemical cargoes

Hong Kong-based blockchain platform Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is collaborating with COSCO, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and the Shanghai Research Institute of Chemical Industry Testing (SICIT) to improve the safe transportation of chemical cargoes, including lithium batteries. The blockchain news comes at a time where container shipping has been hit hards by a series of accidents relating to the carriage of hazardous cargoes.

Together, the four Chinese companies have leveraged blockchain technology to achieve an industry first proof-of-concept that helps enhance transportation safety in the shipping industry.

For exports from China, SICIT is one of the main organisations authorised to test and issue safe transportation certificates. Traditionally, shippers would collect the certificate from an accreditation body and provide the document either as a hard copy or as a scanned copy to the carriers. However, for the carriers and subsequent transportation companies in the supply chain, certificates shared in this form can be hard to verify, thus carrying risks such as mislabelling and fraud.

By harnessing GSBN’s blockchain-enabled platform, a new streamlined process has been designed to ensure that safe transportation certificates and the information they contain can be verified from the original source, and the information is accurate and reliable. To demonstrate this, the four companies have developed a successful proof-of-concept with shipper Midea, one of the largest electrical appliances manufacturers in the world. Over GSBN, both COSCO and OOCL will be able to verify certificates obtained by Midea for their cargo directly with SICIT.

Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN said, “The shipping industry is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime digital transformation leap. As part of this, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to share information whilst retaining full control of who it is shared with as well as ownership of that data. The use of blockchain infrastructure in this proof-of-concept with SICIT allows for systematic and trusted verification to happen directly with SICIT, which, combined with the future application of data from IoT devices, will make a significant difference in risk reduction and efficiency enhancement overall.”