News Supply chain

New Zealand bank ASB pilots trade blockchain

Maersk container ship

Last week New Zealand bank ASB in partnership with VerifyUnion launched a blockchain single trade window application. The World Economic Forum recently reported that providing a single point of service for importers and exporters can reduce the time taken for processing trade documentation by 90%.

The pilot trade involved meat exporter Greenlea Premier shipping a consignment to a large Korean importer. The trade mirrored a traditional transaction.

The online system will reduce the time involved, help in fraud prevention an potentially reduce errors.

“We’re exporting to 40 different countries and being able to use the ASB blockchain platform removes the weak spots and ensures the integrity of the data. We also especially like the instant translation capability which will limit any misunderstandings or human error that can come from dealing with businesses based in different countries and time zones,” explained Jack Vollebregt CFO of Greenlea.

“Plus, it offers traceability and is scalable across the whole supply chain ecosystem giving all partners in the process a competitive advantage.”

VerifyUnion was the technology supplier. CEO AJ Smith explained how it works: “At the documentation layer, the blockchain-enabled supply chain allows partners to access key documents, such as a bill of lading, certificates of origin and other documents required by customs, which streamline these processes.”

The digital payment and paperwork took an hour, compared to the usual 2-4 days. Greenlea already had a paperless system, but it still involved numerous emails. Whereas the new system provides a single dashboard that covers payment, regulator documents, insurance and customs.

The platform test involved Vero for marine insurance and Prodoc for export document processing.

Allen Chong, Executive Manager, Marine at Vero commented: “Marine insurance is an old and very traditional form of insurance, but blockchain has a lot of potential to provide an efficient and reliable successor to previous paper-based systems.”

Prodoc CEO Steve Cox stated: “Using couriers and email for the ‘last mile’ of documentation has always been a source of cost and possible fraud. By reducing the cost and bringing in blockchain to verify the authenticity of documentation, the trade can be facilitated faster and the trust relationship between the exporter and their customer can be improved.”

ASB is also planning to announce an airfreight pilot in the near future.