17 tonnes of almonds have been shipped from Mildura in Victoria to Hamburg in Germany in a blockchain-based collaboration between Commonwealth Bank and five supply chain partners, including Australian rail operator Pacific National.
Using a platform underpinned by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts, and the Internet of Things (IoT), Commonwealth Bank says its experimental shipment has demonstrated the value of blockchain in tracking shipments from packer to end delivery.
CommBank says its 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 in the almond experiment 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.
CommBank said this level of data provided partners in the supply chain with a greater level of transparency and efficiency regarding the location, condition and authentication of the goods being transported.
At the documentation layer, the blockchain-enabled supply chain allowed partners to upload and access key documents, such as bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs, which streamlined these processes.
CBA partnered with Olam Orchards, Pacific National, Port of Melbourne, stevedore Patrick Terminals, shipping carrier OOCL, and Australian IoT provider LX Group to ship the almonds.
“Since the expansion of globalisation, global supply chains have continued to become more complex,” Pacific National chief financial officer Gerhard Ziems said.
“This project is unique as it looks to re-imagine how the supply chain communicates and shares information. Simple access to this information provides us with an ability to better utilise our assets and provide customers with better, more efficient services.”
Olam Orchards Australia supply chain manager Emma Roberts added: “Trade inefficiency can be extremely detrimental to our business. It is vital that as an industry, we look at emerging technology for ways to enhance the supply chain to develop a more transparent and efficient platform.
“This project has shown that through collaboration from all parts of the supply chain that this can be achieved.”
CBA’s managing director of industrials and logistics in client coverage, Chris Scougall, said the 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,” Scougall said.
“We thrive on the opportunity to work with our customers to help them adapt to changing industry trends, particularly technology. It was key to us that we partner with businesses across the entire supply chain, so we could get a holistic picture of how this technology could impact and improve the efficiency of the transport and logistics industry.”