India digitizes shipping documentation process with blockchain

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India is automating and simplifying the time-consuming and cumbersome process of shipping documentation using the CargoX blockchain platform, announced the country’s marine news outlet, The Maritime Executive, on June 11.

India’s supply chain industry is undergoing rapid transformation, thanks to its increasing reliance on blockchain technology. Last month, IBM TradeLens announced its partnership with the country’s largest shipping port operator, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ). 

Blockchain lends a helping hand in times of need

Now, in its efforts to mitigate the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the shipping industry and keep port operations going despite the setbacks, the Ministry of Shipping overseeing body for growth and development of Indian ports, together with the country’s logistics association, is calling for end-to-end digitization of shipping documentation and workflow processes using blockchain.

The blockchain-based digitization will involve streamlining tedious processes such as implementing bills of lading, digital delivery records, certificates of origin, credit letters, and other shipping documentation during the import-export trades.

An official from the shipping department of India threw light on the actual problem. During the lockdowns, the industry faces numerous cargo interruptions due to the widespread closures of the courier companies and the inability to physically handle and manage pickup and delivery of crucial shipping documentation on time. The very time required for in-person transfer of documents led us to review the need for paper-based records.

Simplifying shipping documentation

The blockchain-powered document transfer platform was then developed by Portall Infosystems, and tested across 19 Indian ports, which included 13 major ones, and connected at least 16,000 stakeholders through the digital shipping documentation ledger.

Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX, stated in the announcement that the firm is happy to partner with shipping companies and ports to address their pain points in such difficult times. 

The shipping industry is the backbone of every economy and workflow systems, supply chain distribution and shipping documentation play key roles in its efficient and smooth functioning. In a small yet significant way, we intend to help them meet their tight deadlines, simplify document management, and bring down the costs associated with document transfer, using blockchain.

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