‘Groundbreaking’ blockchain trade trial by Australian Commonwealth Bank tracks tonnes of almonds

17 tonnes of almonds have been successfully shipped and tracked from Victoria (Australia) to Hamburg (Germany) in a blockchain-based collaboration between the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and five Australian and international supply-chain leaders.

According to the company’s blog, the trade experiment was facilitated by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT), which worked in parallel to existing processes to track the shipment “from packer to end delivery”.

Alongside agricultural group Olam Orchards, as well as partnering with haulage, port and shipping companies, the blockchain hardware and software support was provided by IoT company LX Group, which digitised operations, documentation and finance with the supply chain.

This was achieved by housing container information, completion of tasks and shipping documentation on a purpose-built blockchain on the ethereum network, which allowed partners to upload and access key documents, such as bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs.

Meanwhile, partners were able to view and track the location of the freight, and view conditions such as temperature and humidity with four IoT devices fitted on each container.

Chris Scougall, CBA’s managing director of industrials and logistics in client coverage, said the blockchain-enabled trade platform “brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent,” while the bank’s MD of global commodities, Alex Toone, said the trial allowed CBA to “prove a concept to modernise global trade”.

Meanwhile, Melissa Poon, general manager for trade and development at the Port of Melbourne, said: “Emerging blockchain technology creates the potential for multi-beneficial productivity gains to Australia’s supply-chain.

“Through understanding volume loads and shipments coming down the supply chain, we are able to prepare strategies to meet the trade demands of the future.

“We are excited to be involved in such a ground-breaking project,” she added.

Find out more about the blockchain ecosystem at Blockchain Expo North America, Santa Clara, November 28-29 2018.


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