IBM Chairman Ginni Rometty Promotes Blockchain’s Effects on Shipping – Transport Topics

By Eleanor Lamb      February 25, 2018

Ginny Rometty, Brian SandovalGinni Rometty, Brian Sandoval by Eleanor Lamb/Transport Topics

WASHINGTON — Blockchain’s effects will extend to transportation and facilitate the movement of goods, according to IBM Chairman Ginni Rometty.

Rometty, who spoke at the National Governors Association’s winter meeting Feb. 25, said the distributed database system will do for transactions what the internet did for information. She said blockchain will especially come in handy for cargo shippers, who will be able to spend less time and manpower on the verification of business records.

“Every place you have transactions, you could get a very fast middleman out of the way. It is shipping. Shipping, shipping, shipping,” Rometty said. “For cargo, you know those containers we all see? Often the paperwork costs more than what’s inside of it. With blockchain, you’re able to get rid of all of that. Then you go to rail, to the truck [and] everything along the way. You’re going to find blockchain’s going to plow its way right through that. It’s a great efficiency play.”

More at: IBM Chairman Ginni Rometty Promotes Blockchain’s Effects on Shipping – Transport Topics

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Oil Buyers Ditch Paper for Blockchain to Track Tanker Sales – SWI swissinfo.ch

Bloomberg      February 26, 2018

(Bloomberg) — Every day, dozens of oil tankers — some as long as five football fields — set sail for ports around the world carrying millions of barrels of crude and a piece of paper that generations of sea captains have held as dear as their cargo.

The bill of lading is the document that verifies ownership of a commodity that can be worth more than $122 million per ship. Without it, buyers and sellers who trade $2.7 billion of crude daily are unable to do business in an ocean-going tanker market that supplies almost half of the oil consumed globally.

But some of the biggest producers, traders and banks want to do away with the bill-of-lading system, along with other forms of time-consuming record keeping required for every transaction. To trim costs and cope with tighter profit margins, the industry is eyeing the methods used to track and verify cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin using a shared online ledger known as blockchain.

“The way we do our title transfers and post trade execution is very heavy on paperwork,” said Alistair Cross, global head of operations Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. “And the paperwork hasn’t really evolved over the last couple of hundred years.”

More at: Oil Buyers Ditch Paper for Blockchain to Track Tanker Sales – SWI swissinfo.ch

Porsche testing blockchain applications in cars – Green Car Congress

February 26, 2018

In collaboration with the Berlin-based start-up XAIN, Porsche is currently testing blockchain applications directly in vehicles—making Porsche the first automobile manufacturer to implement and successfully test blockchain in a car.

Transactions based on this technology are both secure and can be processed far more quickly than anything that has come before. The applications tested include locking and unlocking the vehicle via an app, temporary access authorizations and new business models based on encrypted data logging. This could be developed further, for example, to improve autonomous driving functions.

More at: Porsche testing blockchain applications in cars – Green Car Congress

CargoX Q&A: How Blockchain is Evolving Bills of Lading – Port Technology International

February 21, 2018

CargoX is going to use blockchain to make shipping processes more efficient by digitizing Bill of Lading (B/L), one of the most important documents in the shipping process.

It aims is to disrupt the global logistics industry by using blockchain to introduce smart B/L and eliminate paper versions of the legal document between the shipper and carrier which detail the goods a ship is carrying.

The company, a spin-off from an existing container booking platform business 45HC, which has an office in Hong Kong, but is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, has already started raising money.

It reached a target of US$ 7 million through an ICO on January 23, 2018, with the initial coin offering (ICO) — an unregulated means by which a company raises funds for a new cryptocurrency — lasting 7 minutes and 40 seconds.

This is an impressive feat, but what is the company hoping to solve through its blockchain solution?

PTI Editor Laurence Doe spoke to Stefan Kukman, Founder and CEO of CargoX, to find out more.

More at: CargoX Q&A: How Blockchain is Evolving Bills of Lading – Port Technology International

Commodities Shipper Seeks $150 Million to Start Digital Coin – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

In International Shipping News      February 21, 2018

The shipping agency that struck the first freight deal settled in Bitcoin is now seeking $150 million to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Prime Shipping Foundation, a partnership between Gibraltar-based Quorum Capital Ltd. and ship broker Interchart LLC, is looking to raise the funds by midyear in a so-called initial coin offering. Using its own cryptocurrency would ease conversions into and out of traditional currencies, speeding settlement, according to Chief Executive Officer Ivan Vikulov.

The company was the first to execute a freight deal in Bitcoin, shipping 3,000 tons of Russian wheat to Turkey at the end of last year. While the freight charges were billed in the cryptocurrency, using digital coins to pay for the actual commodities has proven to be difficult. That’s because their lack of liquidity makes it harder to convert higher-value deals quickly into fiat currencies, he said.

“The conversion in and out of Bitcoin can sometimes take one or two days, and that’s not fast enough,” Vikulov said. “Ours will take a few seconds.”

More at: Commodities Shipper Seeks $150 Million to Start Digital Coin – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Blockchain Firm Targets $2.5 Trillion of Maritime Finance – Port Technology International

February 7, 2018

Shipowner.io, a platform that uses Shipping Industry Participation (SHIP) tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain, plans to utilize the distributed ledger system to lower trading costs.

It will launch its online digital exchange in a few months time.

The London-based firm is open to anyone with SHIP tokens and will accept exchanges that have a value as low as $100.

Large liquidity providers such as banks, private debt players, high net worth individuals and other financial institutions usually provide traditional financing routes, which involve millions of dollars per ticket.

In an announcement, Shipowner.io said it wants to “trailblaze industry transformation” by making the ownership, purchases and operation of ships to be more accessible and transparent with the SHIP token.

More at: Blockchain Firm Targets $2.5 Trillion of Maritime Finance – Port Technology International

BNSF becomes first Class-I railroad to join Blockchain in Transport Alliance – EconoTimes

February 7, 2018

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), a leading North American freight transportation company, has become the first Class I railroad to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

Formed in August 2017, BiTA aims to promote the adoption, education, and development of a standard framework around blockchain in the freight industry. It counts over 200 freight transportation companies as its members which includes the likes of FedEx, SAP, UPS, Salesforce, and Schneider, among others.

More at: BNSF becomes first Class-I railroad to join Blockchain in Transport Alliance – EconoTimes