Russia to Get a Blockchain Logistics Platform in 2019

Russia to Get a Blockchain Logistics Platform in 2019

Denmark’s transport giant Maersk in partnership with IBM plans to launch Russia’s first blockchain logistics platform for international cargo in 2019. The question for now is whether the system, or systems like it, can gain industry-wide adoption. 

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Maesrk, IBM Continue Blockchain Logistics Meld

The blockchain will be originally launched as a pilot project at St. Petersburg’s Big Port, representatives of Maersk said at a transportation conference earlier this week. If the pilot turns out to run efficiently, other ports could be added to the scheme.

Located at the Gulf of Finland in Northwestern Russia and controlled by the federal government, Big Port is one of the region’s most important logistical hubs.

First up for the platform is St. Petersburg. More ports may soon follow.

Maersk, the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator with its headquarters in Copenhagen, operates in Russia out of several ports, including St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, and Vladivostok.

The technological side of the project is to be based on TradeLens, a blockchain solution launched jointly by Maersk and IBM, while the Russian government enterprise Morsvyazsputnik, controlled by the federal agency for sea and river transportation, will also be involved on the organizational side.

“We are currently in the process of a dialog with Russian customers and state agencies to make sure that test shipments of cargo on the blockchain platform through the St Petersburg port could be done shortly,” a Maersk spokesperson said.

Building Momentum

Names of the first customers whose cargo shipments will be handled on the blockchain platform have not yet been revealed, but Maersk added that Russian controlling agencies, including the Federal Customs Service, will be involved from the very beginning to ensure the project’s compatibility with the country’s legislation.

IBM and Maersk launched TradeLens this past August as a global blockchain shipping project. TradeLens’s solution aims to streamline logistical operations thanks to recording IoT and other data on the blockchain.

As a result, tasks like determining the location of a specific container or transferring trade documents across organizations to automate customs clearance can take much less time and resources.

Meanwhile, Russian official agencies’ heavy involvement in the logistics project comes as another sign that the country’s authorities are open to exploring blockchain technology.

While previously announced or launched projects in the nation have mostly focused on healthcare, education, municipal services, and art, Maersk and IBM’s blockchain logistics meld marks the first major blockchain-based solution carried out in the transportation sector.

What’s your take? Is blockchain logistics the future of the shipping industry? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via Pixabay

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