Almonds shipped from Australia to Hamburg in landmark blockchain experiment

Almonds shipped from Australia to Hamburg in landmark blockchain experiment

Seventeen tonnes of almonds have been shipped and tracked from Sunraysia in Victoria, Australia, to Hamburg in Germany in a landmark blockchain-based collaboration between Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and five Australian and international supply chain leaders.

CBA demonstrated a new blockchain platform underpinned by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT) to facilitate the trade experiment, tracking the shipment from packer to end delivery in parallel to existing processes.

Chris Scougall, managing director of industrials and logistics in client coverage, CBA said: “Our blockchain-enabled global trade platform experiment brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent. We believe that blockchain can help our partners reduce the burden of administration on their businesses and enable them to deliver best-in-class services to their customers.”

As part of the experiment, CBA partnered with global agriculture player Olam Orchards Australia , Pacific National for rail haulage, port landlord Port of Melbourne, stevedore Patrick Terminals and shipping carrier OOCL. Hardware and software support was provided by Australian IoT provider LX Group to ship the almonds from Mildura to Hamburg.

Alex Toone, CBA managing director of global commodities and trade, said: “By bringing together partners from across the end to end supply chain and developing a new platform underpinned by emerging technology, blockchain and IoT, we were able to prove a concept to modernise global trade.”

The platform digitises three key areas of global trade – operations, documentation and finance – by housing the container information, completion of tasks and shipping documents, on a purpose-built blockchain.

Partners were able to view and track the location of the shipment as well as view the conditions, such as temperature and humidity inside the container, via four IoT devices.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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