According to the research of Maersk, single shipments can require sign-off from 30 unique organizations and up to 200 communications, by implement of blockchain technology, huge communications can be saved, and the documentation/information flow will be more security.
The investment in new technology is a huge money for the shipping industry, seldom carriers would have such budget in IT infrastructure.
For the shippers, the blockchain technology can reduce the cost of documentation flow, and avoid the risk of failure of the delivery of paper documentations.
For the carriers and terminals, the blockchain technology can help the digitized information interchange among trading partners more efficiency in a secure channel.
For the customs, the blockchain technology can provide a cross-check solution to varies of certificates/licenses in real time.
Blockchain technology will lose some flexibility in terms of special handling, taking cargo release as example, customer can pick up cargo against a copy of Sea Way Bill(customer can settle the freight later as they’re credit customer), which can be download from the carrier’s online service portal at the early stage of shipment. But Blockchain request some “computing” with different participants to a shared ledger, if one participant is failure to update on time(if the financial department failure to update a “credit” record into the blockchain), will result in delay of cargo delivery.
All technology has a main goal in supply chains management, such as zero stock and agile manufacturing. Blockchain technology must prove itself that it can provide an appropriate solution to optimize one of these key factors.
I don’t think 3rd party logistics will be replaced, customer need the cargo delivery with physical move at the end of the day, Blockchain can not be the actual role who deliver the cargo.
Smart contract is one of key concept in Blockchain, 3rd party logistics company can use their platform to provide more flexible service for the small shippers who have not yet implied the Blockchain.