Chinese Shipping Giant to Explore Blockchain for downstream supply chain financing

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

CSICL has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement on supply chain services with Shanghai Bank. Under the terms of the agreement, CSICL and Shanghai Bank are likely to develop a blockchain-based online supply chain financing platform for CSIC suppliers.

The platform would apparently provide financing for supply chains serving the company's 10 major product sections: shipbuilding, storage batteries, shipbuilding, turbochargers, tobacco machines, diesel engines, large steel structures, harbor machines, gas meters and automation distribution systems.

According to the People & Daily, the recent agreement is part of Shanghai Bank's plan to improve business processes using new technologies. In October, Shanghai Bank reportedly launched the Uplink e-Chain – an online supply chain platform for financial services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Blockchain technology has been widely used in the shipping industry and in various supply chains. In January, Israel's largest freight carrier, Zim, opened a blockchain platform for electronic waybills to all customers in selected transactions.

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

Earlier in March, the government of Singapore announced that it would be conducting a pilot of the blockchain-based maritime trading platform TradeTrust. The pilot follows a January Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, the Maritime Port Authority, Singapore Customs and the Singapore Shipping Association.

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