IBM Blockchain Trial

Computer giant IBM has successfully completed another blockchain trial with the help of 28 tons of mandarin oranges.

The tech behemoth tracked a shipment of mandarins from China to Singapore and used the innovative technology to do so.

IBM Blockchain Trial

The trial consisted of 28 tons of mandarin oranges (which equates to 3,000 cartons), delivered to China ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration, beginning on February 5th.

The main shipping document, otherwise known as the bill of lading (BL), was recorded on the blockchain.

A bill of lading effectively documents the entire legitimacy of the trade. It shows proof of ownership of the goods, receipt of the goods, shipping details, contractual obligations, etc. In normal practice, this document is mailed to all parties involved in the shipment inclusive of banks and those who provide trade financing. In regular practice, it can take anywhere between five and seven days to send the document around.


However, IBM’s blockchain trial showed that by creating an electronic bill of lading (e-BL) and automating it via the blockchain, the entire process was reduced “to just one second.”

As such, the procedure, when done in this manner, greatly reduces administrative time and costs.

Tay Khiam Back, CEO of fruit importer Hupco, said in a press release:

“By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings.”

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Cutting Costs

The IBM blockchain trial showed that by using a blockchain-based electronic system, operating costs can be greatly reduced.

It’s the incremental differences that make all the difference. For example, IBM said electricity costs for refrigerated cargo would be reduced as the wait time and storage time would be reduced. Of course, costs relating to document processing would also be, effectively, nullified.

Further, using the blockchain means safer handling of information. The records are traceable and tamper-proof. This has huge benefits for the shipping industry in general, as the shipping industry is where, at present, 40% of all document fraud occurs.

IBM Blockchain Trial

IBM has been actively engaging in the blockchain space. It recently announced another IBM blockchain trial, this time tracking cobalt from a mine in the Congo to its destination of a Ford Motors factory in the US.

Featured Image: Pixabay

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