Ports where a number of containers are piled up are complicated more than anywhere else. Too many businesses are carried out here, involving those who order, deliver, confirm, transport and preserve goods. So ports are busy and inefficient. The Busan Port Authority is trying to resolve this inefficiency through blockchain technology.
A freighter carrying a heap of containers arrived at a terminal called “A.” These containers must be transported to a foreign country through another vessel in a terminal called “B.” One needs to transport the containers in the A terminal to the B terminal. This process is called ITT (Internal Terminal Transportation). In Busan Port there are three terminal operators in the northern harbor and five terminal operators in the new harbor. ITT is inevitable in this environment. The problem is that there has been a lot of inefficiency in the operation of ITT thus far. That’s because data has not been exchanged smoothly among shipping companies, carriers and terminal operators.
To begin with, shipping companies should draw up lists of containers to be transported and deliver them to carriers. An error can occur because data is entered manually. Also, it takes time to confirm data. Carriers that have received lists of containers from shipping firms must prepare the COPINO (Container Pre-Notification) plan to draw up a schedule for allocating containers. The problem here is that carriers have no idea of where the containers are. Carriers have to log on to the website of the terminal operator to confirm the location of containers.
Further, carriers make it a rule to let a VAN (value added network) operator act as an agency for information transmission rather than delivering the COPINO plan to the terminal operator directly. The chances are high that erroneous transport information is transmitted because of one more stage in between. Terminal operators have to open and close the gate by putting together transport information. Unless accurate data is received, service disruption can occur, resulting in delays of container entry and exit. This means that should ITT be run inefficiently, it might affect container cargo volume negatively.
To address these problems, the Busan Port Authority introduced a blockchain-based pilot project for ITT transport system. Shipping companies, carriers and operators are supposed to take part in the blockchain network as nodes. Through this can each of the participants share lists of containers, orders for carriers and information on container entry and exit in real time. All this has given rise to practical effects such as the reduction of waiting time. So the Busan Port Authority unveiled a plan to expand the blockchain-based ITT transport system and placed a notice of tender for choosing service companies in charge of expanding and restructuring a blockchain platform.
“We will expand the blockchain-based ITT transport system to all terminals in the new harbor from the present three terminals now in trial operation this year,” said a port official, adding that the system will be applied to terminals in the northern harbor through the sophistication of services in 2020. /firstname.lastname@example.org
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