Industry sees potential for blockchain in cargo security

Shipping and logistics firms hail success of blockchain technology trial

Industry sees potential for blockchain in cargo security
Scurrah says blockchain technology can improve security of goods across global supply chains.


The benefits of blockchain technology have been noted following a successful trial of a new blockchain-based system.

The 8,100km supply chain trial between Australia and China was the first in a series of planned trials to test the "robustness" of Australian blockchain developer TBSx3’s new system.

The trial used a distributed blockchain ledger to manage custodial links during the cargo’s journey and verify at the end of the chain that the product delivered is genuine.

TBSx3 founder Mark Toohey says the company’s use of 44-unit alphanumeric character security cryptography, compared with the more commonly used six-digit public cryptography, allowed it to secure the entire chain of custody.

"In terms of the numbers of partners simultaneously involved and the challenges posed for resolution of integration with multiple existing proprietary security systems, we believe this can be developed to become a new security benchmark," TBSx3 chairman Anthony Bertini says.

Trial partners, DP World Australia, DB Schenker, Hamburg Sud, and Australian wine producer IUS, have spoken in favour of the TBSx3 system and more importantly, the benefits of blockchain technology in improving transparency and security in operations.

DP World Australia MD and CEO Paul Scurrah says despite having tough security systems in place, the company is keen on exploring new technologies that allow transparency and added security in operations.

"We are keen to explore how we can avoid the trench warfare of centralised data systems with massive hacker attacks and equally massive static defences, which has characterised so much of online digitised security – up to now," Scurrah says.

"The TBSx3 trial is an important step in testing how new technology may strengthen the security of cargo and we understand the scale and intricacy of the security challenge."

DB Schenker Australia and NZ CEO Ron Koehler says in a globalised world the safety and security of supply chains is "in a very real sense a matter of human rights".

"Supply chain security affects everyone: consumers, companies, communities,"  he says.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with TBSx3 to make sure that the security of supply chains is a daily verifiable fact of life."

Industry, innovation and science minister Arthur Sinodinos says blockchain has "great potential" for Australian businesses and small to medium enterprises.

"It promises to reduce costs, create new market opportunities and transform industries," Sinodinos says.

"Importantly the technology provides a new opportunity for Australian exporters and their customers to verify the authenticity of their products, protecting the reputations and brands of both Australia and Australian business."

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