One of the “Big Four” banks in the country, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has successfully traded and tracked a cross-border shipment of some 17 tons of almonds, using a blockchain-based platform. The nutty package traveled across the world, having left the coast at Sunraysia, Australia and ending up in Hamburg, Germany.
CBA, alongside five other supply chain partners were able to digitize numerous aspects of the shipment, using a smart contract blockchain app, such as operations, documentation and finance – “three key areas of global trade“, according to the official press release. Conditions like temperature or humidity in the container were also monitored through the entire duration of the almond journey.
The release reaffirmed the success of the blockchain trial, claiming that, “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.“
The partners of the app include Olam Orchards Australia, Pacific National for rail haulage, port landlord Port of Melbourne, stevedore Patrick Terminals and shipping carrier OOCL Limited. The parties were able to utilize ethereum blockchain to store and access key documents, such as a bill of lading or certificates of origin on it.
However, since all parties were able to see all additions to the blockchain, the bank said access rights would be more restrictive in the future, only “allowing participants to protect commercially sensitive information and restrict user access to the relevant information only.“
Emma Roberts, a supply chain manager at Olam Orchards, further praised the distributed ledger platform, saying that, “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.“
Chris Scougall, the managing director of logistics at CBA added that “Our 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.“
CBA has dabbled with blockchain technology before, as it partnered another banking giant Wells Fargo as well as Brighann Cotton to ship 88 bales of cotton from Texas to China using distributed ledger technology in 2016. Back then, it was touted as the first global trade between two independent banks using smart contracts.
Last year, CBA announced plans to spend close to $1 billion on tech development, with a sizeable amount of it going to blockchain technology.
However, the banking giant lost its CFO Rob Jesudason to the nascent crypto industry earlier this year, who left his post to join Block.One, the company behind EOS cryptocurrency.
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