Some of the world’s largest logistic companies, supply chain providers, organisations, and even governments have joined forces with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Organisation for Public-Private Cooperation to work on a new toolkit which will accelerate blockchain development.
The project entitled “Redesigning Trust with Blockchain in the Supply Chain” will focus on utilising blockchain technology to bring increased transparency and standardisation to the supply chain industry. It also hopes to improve the way in which the technology is deployed by promoting responsibility, inclusivity, and interoperability.
The multi-stakeholder group will include big names such as Hitachi, World Food Programme, Korea Customs Service, Mercy Corps, Llamasoft, and Maersk. A number of ports will also be involved such as the Port of Los Angeles, Valencia and Rotterdam.
The various entities will work together to co-design a range of governance frameworks that will accelerate the implementation of blockchain systems in ports. A big emphasis will be placed on supporting an approach that looks at the whole ecosystem and insures that all stakeholders benefit equally.
Each framework that is designed and developed will then be prototyped before being piloted with applicable businesses. Once their effectiveness has been ascertained and any necessary changes have been made, the end result will be disseminated for international use.
Nadia Hewett, the project lead of blockchain and DLT at the WEF said: “This toolkit will be built by the industry and piloted, so we can see what works and what does not. We are going to piece together the puzzle, so others don’t have to start from scratch.”
The head of the World Food Programme innovation accelerator, Bernhard Kowatsch explained that a big part of their operations centre on distributing food and other items to over 91 million people in 83 countries, each year. This sort of work relies heavily on the efficiency of logistics and the supply chain.
Kowatsch said in a statement: “Becoming a part of the Forum’s Redesigning Trust: Blockchain for Supply Chain community has provided us with the opportunity to share real-world challenges and use cases, making invaluable connections between the private and public sectors to assist us in the development of our own innovative blockchain for supply chain projects.”
As the project progresses, the WEF will publish a white paper each month that will report on the groups findings. This will also provide guidelines and recommendations in terms of security, data privacy, digital identity, and interoperability.
Maersk, one of the key stakeholders involved in the project, as well as one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in the world have shown a keen interest in blockchain for a number of years.
Whilst its TradeLens blockchain shipping solution has been slow to get off the ground, their dedication and investment in blockchain platforms for the industry has been consistent.
This new venture with the backing of multiple large businesses, as well as the World Economic Forum is expected to breathe a new lease of life into the concept of blockchain and DLT in logistics and the supply chain.