Leveraging Blockchain Technology
Kuehne + Nagel for the first time leverages the benefits of blockchain technology in a large scale operational environment with 800,000 transactions per month while upgrading its well-established Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Portal.
The enhanced solution provides shippers with new features that improve the ease of doing business as well as the degree of transparency on the VGM status of all customer shipments and the history of persisted information.
All information submitted via the portal is stored on-chain, which allows for using native blockchain interfaces for data exchange with third parties, removing the need for additional off-chain communication channels.
Kuehne + Nagel designed the solution to strictly fulfil industry requirements of confidentiality and data privacy, adding to blockchain’s natural features of immutability and traceability.
Martin Kolbe, Chief Information Officer Kuehne + Nagel International AG said:
“The list of promises related to the use of blockchain in the logistics industry is long, but actual real-world applications are hard to find. The Kuehne + Nagel VGM Portal solution jointly developed by our seafreight experts and our IT team allows us to get a true hands-on experience with blockchain technology in an on-premise production environment and with a high number of transactions. Our customers benefit from a tamper-proof solution for information exchange with third parties with improved efficiency and higher transparency. Kuehne + Nagel engages in a number of blockchain projects with customers, suppliers and governmental bodies addressing industry challenges in various domains, as the full potential of blockchain can only be exploited when collaboratively working together with business partners. Our involvement in a consortium engaged in the digitalisation of bill of ladings for seafreight is the best example. Operating the VGM Portal on blockchain in an operational high volume environment delivers valuable learnings and expertise for the development of joint blockchain applications.”
The first version of the Kuehne + Nagel VGM Portal went live in 2016 to give shippers a convenient solution for filing their VGM declarations as being required for seafreight shipments in consequence of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Now, the use of blockchain technology further facilitates data exchange between the different partners.
FreightWaves reported that the International Maritime Organisation, the main regulatory body for shipping, introduced VGM just over two years ago. The rule requires that the weight of loaded containers must be verified before being placed on a ship.
It was put into effect after several marine accidents were believed to have stemmed from mislabeled container weights and cargo shifting during voyages.
In 2013, the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines-owned MOL Comfort suffered a crack that eventually led to a fire and the ship’s sinking, along with the loss of over 4,000 containers. Container weights were said to have been a factor in the casualty.
Related: How Will Blockchain Ledger Technology Impact Shippers?