Consortium to apply blockchain technologies to dangerous goods handling

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), has announced the establishment of a consortium to explore the use of blockchain in tackling the risks associated with the declaration and handling of dangerous goods.

Funded by LRF and conducted in partnership with Rainmaking, the consortium includes Copenhagen Malmö Ports (CMP), Flexport, X-Press Feeders, SecureSystem, DSV, Port+, Agility and MTI. The group says that it intends to build and test a prototype to assess the potential for distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address the challenges involved with dangerous goods transport.

The consortium says that it plans to explore the use of digital tools for traceability of dangerous goods cargo, employing immutable attestations and digital audit trails for due diligence with a view to generating more transparency and accountability in tracking dangerous goods.

“The global economy is a highly interconnected machine, and with container ships transporting more than 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide, this machine only operates efficiently when the shipping and logistics components operate efficiently,” said Deanna MacDonald, CEO and Founder of BLOC.

“However, continuously tracking and monitoring the contents of seafaring containers is a supremely complex task that demands cooperation amongst stakeholders and a high level of data interoperability and information sharing. Blockchain has a huge amount of potential when it comes to tackling this – but we need to bring together stakeholders from across the value chain to ensure that whatever solution we build works for everyone involved. This is what this consortium is here to do.”

“Shipping containers often carry little to no indication of their specific contents. At best, a product code is scanned, traced, and managed by siloed data systems, which rarely interoperate with data systems managed by other stakeholders along the connected value chain. This is compounded by weak enforcement, documentation complexity, (and) lack of transparency around (the origin and content) of containers. It’s great to be part of a consortium that’s bringing such a wide range of expertise to bear on this problem.”

The demonstrator project will run until September 2019.