PIL, IBM Complete Blockchain Project

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 1, 2019

Pic: Pacific International Lines

Pic: Pacific International Lines

Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) has completed a blockchain pilot with IBM for an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL).

PIL has used e-BL built on the IBM Blockchain Platform in a real-time pilot tracking shipment of mandarin oranges from China for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

With the use of e-BL, the trial has produced a significant reduction in the administrative process of transferring the title deed from five to seven days to just one second.

"This is significant because the Bill of Lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment," said a press release from the shipping company, which is one among top ten in the world.

Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, and goods delivered more quickly and efficiently.

Hupco Pte Ltd (“Hupco”), a major importer in Singapore of mandarin oranges for the upcoming Lunar New Year, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of mandarin oranges (approximately 108,000 mandarin oranges).

Mr Tay Khiam Back, Chairman and CEO of Hupco said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the trial. By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings. Our customers can expect their orders in a more timely manner, and, importantly, with freshness assured.”

As a symbol of prosperity, mandarin oranges are a common – and welcome – sight during the Lunar New Year in Asia, with people exchanging them as greeting gifts and eating them during the festive celebrations.

Companies shipping perishable items like these mandarin oranges require faster document processing and expedited cargo clearing for delivery. This shortens the overall shipping time – reducing potential risks for retailers and providing fresher options to consumers.

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