Saudi Customs Pilots Shipment Tracking on the Blockchain

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According to a report in RTT News, Saudi Customs is currently currently experimenting with tracking shipments on the blockchain. The project will link the Saudi customs officials’ existing shipment tracking platform, known as Fasah, to a blockchain-based one, powered by TradeLens.

Aiding the pilot will be the Saudi Arabian customs IT partner, Tabadul. The Riyadh-based firm has helped to integrate the Fasah platform with TradeLens.

Can Blockchain Technology Increase Customs’ Efficiency?

The TradeLens platform is expected to save thousands in overall costs for those customs agencies that choose to use it. The huge Danish logistics firm Maersk and IBM created the blockchain shipment tracker solution with the aim of moving the world’s global supply chain to the blockchain. TradeLens itself was announced last August.

The Saudi pilot involves the integration of Fasah with the TradeLens platform. Fasah is a preexisting platform connecting all those involved in the nation’s cross border trade. This includes both government and private entities.

There is hope that the use of blockchain technology will lead to greater efficiency in several different areas of the shipment tracking process. The TradeLens integration with Fasah will reportedly bring greater traceability and reduced auditability. This is expected to lead to large savings for Saudi Customs. In fact, it is said to be capable of reducing shipping time by a massive 40 percent.

According to the report in RTT News, Saudi Arabia hopes to position itself as a logistics hub through its early use of blockchain in supply chain tracking.

Although the only customs agency in the Middle East working towards integrating blockchain technology with the tracking of shipments, Saudi Customs is just one of more than 90 organisations from around the world experimenting with the TradeLens platform. Evidently, interest in exploring the benefits of the tech is great – particularly given that the platform is not even commercially available yet.

TradeLens currently comprises of over 20 port and terminal operators. These represent over 230 marine gateways or seaports from all corners of the globe. Also making up the platform are customs authorities, freight forwarders, shippers, third-party logistics providers, and shipping lines.

Continued Enthusiasm for Blockchain in Logistics

The TradeLens platform launched last August is thought to bring huge savings in terms of both time and money to those integrating it with existing customs procedures. However, it is not just greater efficiency that has the logistics industry excited about the implications of the cutting-edge technology.

Last year, NewsBTC reported on the British Food Standards Agency’s own pilot to track beef using a distributed ledger. The idea here is to be able to track each cut of meat from pasture to eventual plate. Along with greater efficiency, this would help reduce instances of fraud in which meat is passed off as being of better origin and thus worthy of a higher price at market.

Similarly, NewsBTC also reported on one of the planet’s largest manufacturers of luxury goods and its plans to track precious metals and diamonds using a blockchain. Richemont believes that the technology will help its customers be assured that the company’s products and the materials they are created from are authentic.

Related Reading: Porsche Uses Blockchain Platform to Close $170 Million Loan

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

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