The Port of Brisbane is set to become the first Australian port to use blockchain technology in the supply chain system.
The project, which is a product of years of work between the operators PwC Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Port of Brisbane, creating the new Trade Community System.
The blockchain platform will look to improve productivity while reducing costs and the complexity of international trade by reducing duplication and human errors through digitization wherein all recorded information is shared on a continually reconciled decentralized ledger rather than being in binders at individual companies involved in the supply chain.
PwC Partner, Ben Lannan said.
“The Trade Community System proof of concept is the first stage in building an innovative end-to-end supply chain that will digitise the flow of trading information, improve connectivity for supply chain participants, reduce friction for business and reduce supply chain costs, providing unprecedented productivity gains for Australia’s international businesses,”
“The port – whether sea or air – is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge. To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports.”
Designed following recommendations from the national freight and supply chain priorities inquiry report released this month, the new system will work to link end-to-end data, improving productivity and reducing costs through digitised trading of information.
Experts estimate about 15 percent of all information in individual import transactions is duplicated 30 times over, reducing efficiency significantly. Current inefficiencies due to manual processes in an industry notoriously resistant to change see excessive costs of up to $450 per container.
ACCI director of trade and international affairs Bryan Clark while calling for a sweeping digital reform and modernization agenda for Australia’s trade industry, added,
“This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1bn in value lost but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market,”
About 9 million container movements take place at Australia’s five major ports each year. The trade is projected to increase to 15 million movements by 2025. The Port of Brisbane, Queensland’s largest multi-cargo port, spread in 1860.5 hectares, recorded more than 1.22 million container movements in 2016/17.