Ever since the buzz around blockchain's capability to induce transparency into supply chain operations, the technology has in many ways held the collective conscious of the logistics world. Blockchain brings in transparency through its decentralized ledger, that is fully auditable and plain in-view of all the stakeholders in the system.
"The partnership with dexFreight is really exciting because the smart B/L will be offered in a thriving ecosystem that interconnects shippers and carriers using the smart tools of the 21st century that are disrupting the industry. This is a perfect match for the Smart B/L™," said Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX.
CargoX is a startup that pioneers in the blockchain-based digital bill of lading solution, and was one of the first startups to commercialize blockchain in the maritime industry. The company's Smart B/L platform became the first open and neutral blockchain medium in the shipping market, helping container lines and shippers phase out paper B/L documents and go digital.
Quite like the other modes of transport, some companies in the maritime industry have also displayed a half-hearted approach to technology, a surprising reality considering the complexities of handling numerous stakeholders, moving goods that predominantly cross international borders, and the sheer volume of cargo hauled. Then again, a great deal has been done in the maritime industry concerning blockchain pilot programs in the recent past, with large container lines like Maersk AMKBY, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd HPGLY leading the way.
However, these blockchain projects have been underwhelming for certain reasons. For instance, Maersk's blockchain platform TradeLens is a proprietary platform that may help Maersk exert a greater influence on the system than other stakeholders – defeating the very purpose of blockchain.
When there are issues with trust and unequal ownership within a blockchain platform, the premise of blockchain falls spectacularly flat. However, CargoX believes the issues that prevail over such proprietary blockchain solutions give the startup an edge over the large container lines.
"One of the questions we kept getting while we were developing this platform was why would anyone choose CargoX over platforms like the one developed by IBM IBM and Maersk. I think it all comes down to competition. Because Maersk is a carrier, it is natural that none of its competitors would be using its platform," he said in an interview with FreightWaves last November. "It is the same with DP World or CMA CGM. It is a closed environment, and they are competitors to DHL, Schenker, Kuehne + Nagel, Agility, etc. – and those companies will not use the platform of a competitor."
The fact that CargoX is a startup that exclusively builds a blockchain-based B/L solution helps it gain customers that were otherwise dubious of the blockchain pilots that container lines initiated.
Now with the dexFreight partnership, the CargoX smart B/L solution is integrated within dexFreight's platform, helping shippers, carriers and consignees replace their paper documents with a digital B/L, reducing total ownership transfer time from 10 days to 20 seconds. dexFreight is a decentralized, blockchain-based logistics company that allows shippers and carriers to post and pick up shipments, negotiate, track and trace freight, and work on payment settlements on its platform.
"Our partnership with CargoX will allow users to transfer cargo ownership rights without the hassle of handling paper, having papers notarized, and traditional attestations, while they maintain and track provenance," said Rajat Rajbhandari, CEO and co-founder of dexFreight. "In addition, they can be factored and/or sold as a tokenized debt instrument in the open market at a much lower cost than traditional financing."
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