A leading Australian bank could have gone nuts when faced with shipping 17 tons of almonds over a distance of 13471 nautical miles. But the multinational bank let the nuts go instead – all the way from Sunraysia in Australia to Hamburg in Germany, as part of a blockchain shipping experiment.
In a press release, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) said the shipment was an experiment aimed at testing the contribution blockchain-based systems could make to the global trading sector in the future. It involved the combined efforts of five international and domestic leaders in the end to end supply chain.
Can Blockchain Modernise Global Trade?
By doing this CBA Managing Director of Global Commodities and Trade Alex Toone said they were “able to prove a concept to modernise global trade” by developing a new platform underpinned by emerging technology, blockchain and IoT.
The new purpose-built blockchain platform digitized the three key areas involved in global trade – operations, documentation and finance – by housing all the relevant information related to container information, completed tasks and shipping documents on blockchain. This provided the ability to access important documents like certificates of origin and bill of lading needed by customs officials without difficulty.
Blockchain Shipping Experiment CBA’s Second Test
This wasn’t CBA’s first venture into the blockchain technology sphere. Two years ago, the bank teamed with US-based Wells Fargo in completing the world’s first blockchain transaction between two independent banks. Then, like now, it employed the Ethereum blockchain technology, but in that instance the transaction involved a shipment of cotton from Texas, USA to Qingdao, China, instead of nuts.
Partnering with CBA in the experiment were Olam Orchards Australia, Pacific National, Patrick Terminal, Orient Overseas Container Line and the Port of Melbourne. The Port’s General Manager for Trade and Development, Melissa Poon, said blockchain technology “creates the potential for multi-beneficial productivity gains to Australia’s supply-chain” which enabled the port to prepare strategies for meeting future trade demands.