Shipping industry to go digital

Globalization has brought the most advanced trading networks the world has seen, with the biggest, fastest vessels, robot-operated ports and vast computer databases tracking cargoes. The shipping industry is one that has advanced considerably in some ways, but in others is actually very behind the times. It is a market that relies heavily on paper documents and a lot of them. That plethora of paper processors has been one of the reasons shipping has lagged behind other industries in moving to electronic forms.

However, this is all about to change, as now shipping companies are considering moving into the digital era and to work out a system which will integrate blockchain technology into one vast platform. A number of different shipping lines, such as A.P. Moeller- Maersk A/S have teamed up with technology companies and they are about to revolutionize the shipping industry and upgrade the world’s most complex logistics network.

“This would be the biggest innovation in the industry since the containerization,” said Rahul Kapoor, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Singapore. “It basically brings more transparency and efficiency. The container shipping lines are coming out of their shells and playing catch-up in technology.”
The prize is a revolution in world trade on a scale not seen since the move to standard containers in the 1960s -- a change that ushered in the age of globalization. But there is no denying that it will cause a lot of upheaval along the way. In order for this to fully work, dozens of shipping lines and thousands of related business across the entire world, including manufacturers, banks, insurers, brokers and port authorities, will have to work out a protocol that can integrate all the new systems onto one huge platform.

If these plans are successful, it will definitely speed up transactions and documentation that would normally take days could take minutes, and eliminate the need for human impact for much of it. On top of this, it could also dramatically cut costs.