Major companies ranging from Walmart to Smucker’s have started implementing blockchain to track shipments. Find out what’s happening and what the technology’s results look like today.
Pinning down the exact results of how blockchain is performing is challenging. Companies remain hesitant to reveal their results for fear of legality for “saying too much” and pushback from competing shippers. Some wish to keep their innovations proprietary and avoid the risks in joining consortiums or even publicly labeled blockchains. That’s the problem with today’s shipping world. Even though digital transformation is happening in many modes of shipping, companies are still not as forthcoming on the topic of blockchain results, says container shipping industry expert Lars Jenson.
Instead of trying to whittle down the numbers, shippers should look to companies that have begun initiating digital freight practices to increase business. Digital adoption will pave the way for real traction in blockchain, and there are currently several big players using digital practices to get results. Some key findings include:
• Hapag-Lloyd reports online booking rates of 6 percent, and targets indicate rates will soar to 15 percent by 2023. This sudden spike can only arise from faster processing and management, including visibility, through the adoption of digital capabilities.
• NYSHEX is on track to increase its volume more than 428,000 TEUs by 2020, up from 19,000 in 2018, leveraging digital systems along the way.
• Cogoport reports bookings up to 250,000 containers through its online platform.
• Flexport revealed its total revenue at $414 million, hinting at strong growth that will require more processing power.
• Traxens is backed with the brand power of CMA CGM and Mediterraneous Shipping Co., alluding to the demand for more container-specific data. More data to track can only mean carriers are looking to increase transparency.
Since blockchain is the logical choice for tracking data, managing shipping documents, and guaranteeing their authenticity, it is now on track to become the standard for container security, optimization and insurance, says Eric Johnson of the Journal of Commerce.