Kuehne + Nagel has implemented blockchain technology in a large-scale operational environment by applying it to the Verified Gross Mass Portal.
According to Kuehne + Nagel, the enhanced solution now provides shippers with new features that improve the ease of doing business as well as the degree of transparency on the VGM status of all customer shipments. The portal handles approximately 800,000 transactions per month.
“The list of promises related to the use of blockchain in the logistics industry is long, but actual real-world applications are hard to find,” said Martin Kolbe, chief information officer of Kuehne + Nagel International AG. “The Kuehne + Nagel VGM Portal solution jointly developed by our sea freight experts and our IT team allows us to get a true hands-on experience with blockchain technology in an on-premise production environment and with a high number of transactions. Our customers benefit from a tamper-proof solution for information exchange with third parties with improved efficiency and higher transparency.”
All information submitted via the portal is stored on-chain, which allows for the use of native blockchain interfaces for data exchange with third parties, removing the need for additional off-chain communication channels. The solution was designed to comply with industry requirements of confidentiality and data privacy, and takes advantage of blockchain’s inherent immutability and traceability.
“Kuehne + Nagel engages in a number of blockchain projects with customers, suppliers and governmental bodies addressing industry challenges in various domains, as the full potential of blockchain can only be exploited when collaboratively working together with business partners,” said Kolbe. “Our involvement in a consortium engaged in the digitalization of bill of ladings for sea freight is the best example. Operating the VGM Portal on blockchain in an operational high-volume environment delivers valuable learnings and expertise for the development of joint blockchain applications.”
The first version of Kuehne + Nagel’s VGM Portal went live in 2016, giving shippers a solution for filing their VGM declarations as required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea for all sea freight shipments.