Blockchain 'could help prevent shipping cyber attacks'
The logistics industry could see improved connectivity, efficiency and security thanks to blockchain technology following a successful pilot program.
Marine Transport International and Agility Sciences published a whitepaper detailing the deployment of the ‘container streams’ system in a supply chain environment.
The results of the pilot have been verified by scientists at the University of Copenhagen and maritime technology leads at Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration.
The project connected supplier, shipper, load point, customs and terminal on a shared blockchain ledger. All parties involved in the supply chain benefited from automated data flows.
“The results of this successful pilot demonstrate the strengths of blockchain technology when deployed to link the various actors in the supply chain. We are confident that firms throughout the logistics industry will see a broad spectrum of benefits stemming from blockchain deployment,” said Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International.
“The blockchain has proven to be an excellent way of connecting the different parties involved in any supply chain environment due to the transparency and security-by-design of the technology.
“In recent months the shipping industry has fallen victim to industrial-scale cyber attacks which have left large shipping lines, such as Maersk, completely paralysed and unable to serve clients.
“A blockchain-enabled supply chain is highly resilient to cyber attack – a copy of the essential shipping data is stored on each node on a decentralised network, meaning that even if one node is compromised, the data is safe nevertheless.
“The business case for connecting supply chains using blockchain is very strong. As the interface is easily adaptable to existing systems there is a very low barrier to entry.
“Any type of supply chain business, be it marine-, air-, or land-based, can take advantage of such a system – the cost savings that we envisage are as high as 90 per cent, as a result of substantially streamlined processes.”
Karim Jabbar of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen added: “This pilot demonstrates the great potential for distributed ledger technologies to be used in improving supply chain processes.
“The ‘container streams’ system is unique in the fact that it does not require the complete replacement of existing systems – instead, MTI’s solution allows complete interoperability with existing legacy infrastructure.
“The logistics industry as a whole can expect better visibility, connectivity and cost savings as a result of distributed ledger adoption.”
Deanna MacDonald, CEO of Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration, said: “We have documented the first phase of this use case, its implications for the maritime industry and the resulting development of a turn-key application ecosystem for global supply chain logistics.
“However, the future potential of this ecosystem platform will rest upon collaboration from the different actors in these supply chains in order to clearly identify the problems and co-create applications that solve for the collective challenges they are facing today.”
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