Blockchain technology: Its application in shipping and seaports operations in the area of ascertaining cargo quantity and vessels dimensions.


1 Introduction

Blockchain technology is gaining momentum in the shipping and seaports operations. With its ability to facilitate secure transactions between parties, it has caught the attention of shipping companies, logistics service providers, ports and terminal operators. The data generated by blockchain technology from different industries will be combined into one ledger for all parties involved with great efficiency in handling transactions at every stage of their supply chain.

Blockchain innovation is a decentralized ledger that records and verifies transactions. It can also be used to track the movement of goods, services and money.

Blockchain technology allows for all parties involved in a transaction (buyers, sellers, etc.) to have access to information such as shipping details or cargo weight without needing a third party like an accountant or lawyer. This is because blockchain technology uses cryptography (a method of encrypting data) in order to create unique digital signatures for each transaction made on the network. These signatures ensure that no one else can tamper with this record once it has been stored on the blockchain network’s database.

As of late, blockchain technology has acquired a great deal of prevalence. The fundamental justification behind this is the way that blockchain has various advantages contrasted with different technologies. Blockchain can be utilized in different businesses, for example, banking, transportation and seaports activities because of its capacity to offer effective types of assistance at low expenses. Likewise, it additionally gives high security levels which are essential for any deal.

While many people have heard about blockchain technology but not everyone knows how it works or why it is so popular among businesses today. In this article we will explain everything you need to know about this disruptive technology in an easy-to-understand way without using any technical terms so anyone can understand it easily!

2 Description of blockchain technology.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger. It consists of blocks that contain data records, where each block has its own hash value and timestamp. The technology uses a decentralized network that does not rely on any single point of failure, therefore it is safe and secure for all participants involved.

3 How the blockchain works.

The blockchain is a distributed ledger, which means that it is not stored in any single location. As such, the blockchain cannot be controlled by any central authority. Instead, this public ledger is maintained by thousands of computers on the internet working together to confirm transactions and ensure that users remain anonymous.

The blockchain consists of blocks (hence the name), which are lists of transactions recorded chronologically and bound into a chain through cryptographic links made up at each block’s genesis block. Each new block includes all previous transactions in the current one plus a fresh new transaction. This way, every subsequent transaction adds additional information for verification purposes and therefore stability within this system.

4 How many types of blockchains are out there?

There are two types of blockchains. Public Blockchains and Private Blockchains.

(i) Public blockchains are open to all, anyone can use the network and get their transaction verified by other participants in the network. The Bitcoin Blockchain is a good example of public blockchain, where anyone can join the network to mine coins or make transactions without paying any fee. You don’t need any special authorization or permission from anybody else in order to participate in this network; you just compete with other miners by running software on your computer that solves cryptographic puzzles found within each block.

(ii) Private Blockchain networks on the other hand require an invitation for joining them, usually granted via a white list controlled by a central authority (i.e., company or group of people) that decides who can join the network and how much access they have over it once they do so (e.g., validators).

5 The promise of blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology offers a wide range of benefits that can be applied to all industries. The promise of blockchain technology is to enable a decentralized system where transactions are stored in shared ledgers, which can be accessed by multiple parties instead of being controlled by one central authority. It is able to maintain data immutability by ensuring that there is no manipulation with data once it has been recorded in the ledger. Blockchain technology could help reduce the cost of doing business because there are no intermediaries involved when transacting with other parties or entities, thus reducing the need for middlemen and third-party verifiers. It would also facilitate quicker transaction speeds since transactions can be recorded on the network immediately once they have been validated by consensus among all participants within each transaction (or “block”). This means that you won’t have to wait days before your payment goes through or weeks before you receive another party’s goods or services after payment has been made; it will happen almost instantaneously!

6 The problem with blockchain as it exists today.

The problem with blockchain as it exists today.

Blockchain technology is not scalable. It’s slow, cumbersome and expensive to run because it uses proof of work as is the case with bitcoin. The high processing cost means that only a few parties can afford the cost of running it. Therefore, blockchains are not interoperable with other blockchains, for example bitcoin blockchain, cardano blockchain e.t.c are not interoperable with other blockchains. They also lack privacy because all transactions are visible on the public ledger which means users must use different addresses for every transaction made so that their identities remain anonymous (or at least partly so).

7 The Blockchain Technology and its application to shipping and port operations.

This section is dedicated to the Blockchain technology and its application in shipping and port operations. The role of blockchain technology has been discussed in different ways, but here we will focus on how it can be used to track cargo, vessels, trucks and logistics.

Blockchain technology can be applied in various areas of shipping and ports operations such as:

  • Cargo tracking – This refers to the tracking system that uses GPS signals from satellites to follow the location of a shipment throughout its journey until delivery. The information on each package is recorded onto a public ledger which cannot be changed by anyone after recording has been made (Dai & Li 2018). This system makes sure that no one tampers with any data about your shipment either intentionally or accidentally because all parties have access only through authorized channels only after approval from relevant authorities such as customs officers. Such systems reduce fraudulence since there are no intermediaries involved hence making transactions transparently visible for everyone who has access rights at that particular time frame including third parties like auditors etcetera (Dai & Li 2018).

8 Data Problems that are yet to be addressed by blockchain technology.

  • Data Security and Privacy- The data security and privacy issue is a major cause of concern as any kind of leakage of personal information can be highly damaging to the reputation of an individual or an organization.
  • Data Interoperability- This problem refers to the ability of blockchain systems to interact with other blockchains working on similar concepts or with other conventional technologies without compromising on its performance.
  • Data Accessibility -It is imperative to have easy access to information stored in a distributed system for effective business operations, especially when there are multiple parties involved such as shippers, vendors etc., however this may pose problems for some industries where confidential information needs protection from unauthorized accesses like supply chain management companies dealing with financial institutes etc.

9 How does automation (Sensors) for capturing weights, vessel measurements fit into the blockchain concept?

  • The use of sensors to collect weight and measurement data can help in determining the weight of the cargo. This is crucial to have accurate data for the blockchain to work.
  • Sensors can be used on both the ship and the cargo. Sensors can also be used on trucks that carry containers from ships at ports.

10 Achieve greater cargo efficiency with an automated system for measuring ship loads and cargo weights before loading.

In the context of shipping, blockchain technology can be used to attain greater cargo efficiency with an automated system for measuring ship loads and cargo weights before loading. This would be similar to how the blockchain is used in tracking goods on pallets. It will provide a secure record of all data related to the various dimensions of each shipment, and can be accessed by any party interested in knowing this information, such as freight forwarders or customs authorities.

Additionally, it has been shown that using blockchain technology for container measurement will increase productivity by up to 30% when compared with conventional methods. This is because businesses are able to take advantage of other opportunities while waiting for their containers at ports due to knowing exactly when they will arrive.


This brief introduction to blockchain technology and its application in shipping operations is meant only as a primer.

From this article, we understand that blockchain technology is not a perfect solution to all problems. However, it has significant practical applications in shipping and seaports operations. We also understand how sensors (for capturing weights and vessel measurements) fit into the concept of blockchain?

In this piece, I’ve tried to explain how the blockchain technology works and why it’s important. Once you start using blockchain yourself, though? You’ll see its full potential!

If you have any question or comment leave it in the box below.

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