The Port of Brisbane becomes Australia’s first port to adopt blockchain technology

industrial port with containers

The Port of Brisbane is set to become the first Australian port to use blockchain technology in the supply chain system.

The project, the culmination of years of work between the operators, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and PwC, will use blockchain technology to link supply chain information and reduce complexity in international business processes, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Designed following recommendations from the national freight and supply chain priorities inquiry report released this month, the new system will work to link end-to-end data, improving productivity and reducing costs through digitised trading of information.

Blockchain is a decentralised digital ledger technology working its way through business, banking and technology companies around the world. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database.

About 9 million container movements take place at Australia’s five major ports each year. The trade is projected to increase to 15 million movements by 2025.

The Port of Brisbane, Queensland’s largest multi-cargo port, spread in 1860.5 hectares, recorded  more than 1.22 million container movements in 2016/17.

Experts estimate about 15 per cent of all information in individual import transactions is duplicated 30 times over, reducing efficiency significantly.

On 18 May 2018, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, released the report of the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

The Inquiry was conducted by a four member expert panel to inform the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy through the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council.

Drawing on 127 submissions and one-on-one meetings with over 200 individuals from 28 peak industry bodies and 90 businesses, the Expert Panel recommended 54 priorities for action across five critical action areas.

The inquiry identified blockchain technology as a high impact driving force on freight supply chains in Australia, along with other factors such as automation, energy and climate change, road pricing, end-to-end freight and improved road and rail.