HMM completes its first blockchain pilot voyage

South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has become the latest containerline to highlight its foray into blockchain. The company revealed today it has completed its first blockchain adopted pilot voyage with the technology specifically used to focus on reefer shipments.

A ship went from Busan to Qingdao at the end of August with blockchain technology deployed for reefer shipment bookings to cargo delivery. Combining the blockchain technology with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology was also tested and reviewed through real-time monitoring and managing of the reefer containers on the vessel.

“Adopting blockchain technology in shipping & logistics industry will enable all involved parties to securely share all the information such as Certificate of Origin and customs clearance information, and will also reduce a tremendous amount of paperwork – such as inputting booking information and Bill of Lading – hence will improve work efficiency. Data will also be safer with stronger security through public-key cryptography,” HMM said in a statement.

HMM is planning a second pilot voyage next month with dry containers with expanded blockchain technology procedures and IoT technology in more diverse destinations such as India and Thailand.

An HMM official commented: “By adopting the high-end IT technologies such as blockchain and IoT in shipping and logistics, we will become one of the pioneers of the fourth industrial revolution within the industry.”

Meanwhile, a shipping and logistics blockchain consortium established this May among Korean logistics companies, the government, and a state-run research center has been carrying on various studies on adopting blockchain technology.

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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