Commonwealth Bank tracks 17 tons of almonds in blockchain experiment

blockchain almonds
Image credit: Amawasri Pakdara / Shutterstock.com

Seventeen tons of almonds have successfully been shipped and tracked from Sunraysia in Victoria, Australia, to Hamburg in Germany in a blockchain-based collaboration between Commonwealth Bank and five Australian and international supply chain players.

Commonwealth Bank demonstrated a new blockchain platform underpinned by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the IoT to facilitate the trade experiment, tracking the shipment from packer to end delivery in parallel to existing processes.

“Our blockchain-enabled global trade platform experiment brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent,” said Chris Scougall, managing director of Industrials and Logistics in Client Coverage at CBA. “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.”

As part of the experiment, CBA partnered with global agriculture player Olam Orchards Australia, Pacific National for rail haulage, port landlord Port of Melbourne, stevedore Patrick Terminals and shipping carrier OOCL. Hardware and software support was provided by Australian IoT provider LX Group to ship the almonds from Mildura to the global hub of Hamburg.

The platform digitizes three key areas of global trade – operations, documentation and finance – by housing the container information, completion of tasks and shipping documents, on a purpose-built Ethereum blockchain.

Partners were able to view and track the location of the shipment as well as view the conditions, such as temperature and humidity inside the container, via four IoT devices. 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.

“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,” said Emma Roberts supply chain manager at Olam Orchards Australia. “This project has shown that through collaboration from all parts of the supply chain that this can be achieved.”

At the documentation layer, the blockchain-enabled supply chain allows partners to upload and access key documents, such as bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs, which streamlined these processes.

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