Pacific International Lines (PIL) has received a blockchain bonus in its plans for the Lunar New Year, having successfully completed a pilot tracking a shipment of mandarin oranges from China for the celebrations in real time, using an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM Blockchain Platform.
The trial has produced a significant reduction in the administrative process of transferring the title deed for the cargo shipment, the company said, from its standard five to seven days down to just one second.
Combining the e-BL with blockchain technology can potentially help companies to reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, allowing goods to be delivered more efficiently.
Hupco, a Singapore-based importer of mandarin oranges for the upcoming Lunar New Year, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of mandarin oranges (approximately 108,000 oranges in total).
“We are delighted with the outcome of the trial. By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings,” said Tay Khiam Back, Chairman and CEO of Hupco.
“Our customers can expect their orders in a more timely manner, and, importantly, with freshness assured.”
As a symbol of prosperity, mandarin oranges are a common sight during the Lunar New Year in Asia, exchanged as gifts and eaten during the festive celebrations.
This live trial follows the initial e-BL Proof of Concept announcement made by the companies in October 2018, at which time PIL and IBM stated their intention to collaborate on digitalisation of the lifecycle of negotiable and non-negotiable Bills of Lading using distributed ledger technology.
“We are pleased with the steady progress of our blockchain collaboration with IBM. To date, we have received very positive feedback from the industry and authorities, and we are enthused by the possibilities of how our blockchain developments can transform and inject a much-needed boost in efficiency and innovation into the industry,” said Lisa Teo, Executive Director of PIL.