Category Archives: automated shipping

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Samsung Investing in Blockchain Shipping Technologies

Samsung is joining a number of other companies in exploring the idea of using blockchain logistics to streamline global supply chains. It is reported that the tech giant has already begun developing a distributed ledger system to monitor international shipments.

Recently, IBM has teamed up with Danish shipping giant Maersk and India’s JM Baxi, in order to digitalize their import and export process with blockchain.

Energy is one of the most frequently traded resources and the implementation of a more efficient system has captivated market leaders. BP was testing a gas trading platform, while E.ON and Enel, have also experimented with similar energy trading platforms.

Sinochem, one of China’s main oil companies, used blockchain to monitor and store data on a shipment of gasoline to Singapore.

Issues surrounding current logistics

The top 20 exporters of containerized cargo transport a total of around  127.6 million fully-loaded TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) globally a year. Countries with a higher level of human intervention can take up to 11 days to process logistics. OECD countries have managed to reduce this to about 9 hours but the process is still prone to human error.

Fraudulent goods are worth USD 1.4 trillion globally and tax avoidance continues to be an issue. Not only does this affect profits but health depending on the type of product and its use. There is a growing concern among consumers about imitations and problems with verifying the authenticity of a product.

Documentation can be held up or lost by middlemen, resulting in perishable goods being stuck in transit. This can end up costing up to a fifth of the total transportation costs as well as the price of the goods.

Benefits of blockchain logistics

Blockchain is set to help shippers, ports, customs offices and many other parties in the global supply chain by replacing paperwork with irrefutable digital records.

Blockchain could provide proof of provenance for goods by tracking them globally from the manufactures. Import details, fees, and taxes could all be programmed into smart contracts that release payments automatically once the conditions where met. Customers will see an improvement in services as the overall speed of the processes increase.  Tracking will include improved shipment data with timestamps and data being instantly accessible through a ledger.

Blockchain will benefit logistics by providing enhanced security and vendor management, as well as preventing the loss of goods.

 

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AI, Blockchain, Robotics and Automated Shipping

Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics are the building blocks of our autonomous future. Shipping companies are taking steps to move towards zero human intervention in cross-border trade. Blockchain and AI will remove the need for physical documents and their processing by customs officials, which will save time and expenses.

Blockchain and AI’s role in automating shipping

AI algorithms are getting increasingly accurate with spotting fraudulent financial transactions. Combine this feature with blockchain’s irrefutable decentralized ledger and you have the basis for a secure automated import/export system. Although some of these decisions in the interim will be audited by humans for accuracy, the integrity of the future documentation will be by machine alone. Smart contracts will contain primary information on cargo and record receipts regarding handling fees and taxes.

AI can also contribute to security by working at the same level as blockchain’s cryptography. A new branch of AI develops algorithms that can work with data while it is still in its encrypted state. Blockchain’s decentralized approach will ensure trade records will be stored in several locations without any chance of being manipulated. This will increase security for personal data as well as against fraud and other related crimes. 

Automated trade for India

India, as part of its digitization agenda, hopes to implement a level of automation by next year. The system will initially be limited to specific importers or exporters. Currently, it takes up to 267 hours (11 days plus) for import consignment clearance. OECD countries can take as little as 8.7 hours for the same task.

Automated movement of cargo and low maintenance will mean customs can allocate its resources more productively. Trusted members of trading organizations who meet the criteria for reduced examination or inspection and pre-arrival import declarations will be able to take advantage of the automated procedures. Direct port entry, deferred duty payments, fast-tracking of adjudication and refunds, and risk-based assessment will all be streamlined under the new system. India’s score for cross-border trade should increase along with productivity.

Fully automated shipping

The future of global trade could be entirely automated with navigation included. Automation of shipping vessels would require a complex system of AI and navigational data. Shipping routes would need to be shared amongst vessels. Data would need to be stored in a safe, reliable and secure manner.

AI software built into the blockchain network would be safe from manipulation. Software updates to vessels could be tied to privacy keys for an additional level of authentication. Now seems like a good time introduce the security of blockchain’s data infrastructure as a basis for future systems.

Blockchain Driving the Future of Autonomous Cars

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