PIL and IBM trial blockchain technology

PIL has used IBM blockchain technology to digitise the bill of lading Photo: PIL/IBM PIL has used IBM blockchain technology to digitise the bill of lading Photo: PIL/IBM

Pacific International Lines (PIL) has used an electronic bill of lading (e-BL) in a successful real-time pilot shipment, significantly reducing the time to transfer the title deed from up to seven days to just one second.

Using IBM blockchain technology, the shipping company tracked the shipment of 108,000 mandarin oranges, a symbol of prosperity during the Lunar New Year, from China to Singaporean importer, Hupco Pte.

Tay Khiam Back, chairman and chief executive 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.”

Instantaneous transfer

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

As well as a faster delivery, consignees benefit from lower operating costs, stronger provenance and greater security.

The live trial follows an e-BL proof of concept announced in October 2018 during which PIL and IBM collaborated to digitise the lifecycle of bills of lading on top of distributed ledger technology.

Harriet Green, chief executive and chair of IBM Asia Pacific said: “A blockchain-based trade network will be a game changer and we have a great opportunity here with our partner PIL to revolutionise the documentation processes in a way that benefits the entire industry.”

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