With the announcement by PwC Australia this week of the Trade Community System, blockchain comes to Australian freight. This is a first in the freight transport industry and is claimed to have to the potential to drive productivity improvements in the movement of containers.
The new system comes from a collaboration between PwC Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Brisbane. It uses blockchain technology to link supply chain information and is claimed to have the potential to revolutionise international trade by removing complexity.
“To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms which facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,” said Roy Cummins, Port of Brisbane CEO, at this week’s launch of a proof of concept Trade Community System digital application in Brisbane.
The system is currently in its proof of concept stage, the first part of a process to develop an innovative end to end supply chain with a fully digitised flow of information. Participants up and down the chain will be able to check data about and provenance of a particular shipment, knowing the data to be secure within the confines of the blockchain itself.
Handlers up and down the chain will be able to access the data they need when handling a shipment and they will be able to add their own data about it, but will not be able to amend data already populating the secure ledger within the system.
“The port, whether sea or air, is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge,” said said Ben Lannan, PwC Partner. “To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports.”
Australia has been experiencing growth in its volume of trade, which has increased pressure on supply chains, ports and border authorities to process, screen and clear goods as efficiently as possible in and out of the Australian Economy.
There are roughly 9 million container movements at our 5 major ports annually. This figure is projected to rise to 15 million by 2025.
“At present the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container,” said Bryan Clark, Australian Chamber, Director of Trade and International Affairs. “This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1 billion in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market.”
If you are as confused, as we at Diesel News were, about just what a ‘blockchain’ is, get the next issue of Diesel Magazine for a report from the recent ARTSA Global Heavy Vehicle Summit, where an explanation of their function and potential may make the picture a little clearer.