Today Busan City and the Busan Institute of Industrial Science and Innovation announced that they finished the planning stage for an unmanned smart logistics system that uses blockchain in the Port of Busan. The port is the fifth busiest in the world.
The project was launched following a competition for science and technology projects by the Ministry of Science and ICT. As a result, it has received 14.2 billion won ($11.9 million) in funding, the majority of which has come from national and local government budgets. It will be undertaken by nine different organizations and is due to be completed by 2024.
Innovations, including self-driving machinery and an Internet of Things-based logistics center, are to be introduced as a means of achieving a fully automated port. The project’s particular blockchain angle is in the new smart cargo integrated control service platform, which will be based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
In a statement, the City of Busan declared that these new systems would increase productivity and reduce costs and the commonality of workplace accidents.
The project primarily intends to revitalize the port and make it more competitive. This message ran through a statement made by Mayor of Busan Byun Sung-wan, who described it as a “new opportunity for revival” for the regional logistics industry, which is struggling in the wake of a COVID-19-induced recession.
These recent innovations build on Busan Port’s previous successes with blockchain technology. Two years ago, a pilot was launched to streamline the process of tracking containers using blockchain technology. After this scheme experienced success, it was fully integrated into Busan Port’s systems.
Busan City itself is also a hub of blockchain innovations, and last July was announced as a “regulation-free blockchain zone”. Last month, a blockchain-enabled identity verification service was launched in the city, which intends to facilitate payments and access to services in an uncertain post-COVID era.