Chinese Shipping Giant to Explore Blockchain for Upstream Supply Chain Financing

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China Shipbuilding Industry Company Limited (CSICL) is going to explore how it can apply blockchain to financing its upstream suppliers, reports official Chinese newspaper People’s Daily on March 27. CSICL is a subsidiary of one of the two largest Chinese shipping conglomerates, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

CSICL signed a strategic cooperation agreement on supply chain services with Shanghai Bank. Per the terms of the agreement, CSICL and Shanghai Bank will purportedly develop an blockchain-based online supply chain finance platform for upstream suppliers of CSIC.

The platform would ostensibly provide financing for supply chains servicing the firm’s 10 major product sections: marine engineering, storage batteries, shipbuilding, turbochargers, tobacco machinery, diesel engines, large steel structure fabrications, port machinery, gas meters and automation distribution systems.

According to the People’s Daily, the recent agreement is part of Shanghai Bank’s plan to improve business processes using new technologies. Last October, Shanghai Bank reportedly launched its Uplink e-Chain — an online supply chain financial service platform for small and medium enterprises.

Blockchain technology has been widely applied across the shipping industry and in various supply chains. In January, Israel’s largest cargo shipping company, Zim, opened a blockchain platform for electronic bills of lading to all clients in selected trades.

In February, Russian shipping logistics company Infotech Baltika will develop a blockchain-based port operation system dubbed Edge.Port in partnership with Moscow-based blockchain startup Iconic.

Earlier in March, the Singapore government announced it would go ahead with a pilot of its blockchain-based maritime trade platform TradeTrust. The pilot follows a January Memorandum of Understanding signed by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority, Maritime Port Authority, Singapore Customs and the Singapore Shipping Association.