The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and blockchain firm Perlin are jointly working on an e-registry for the ship registration and renewal process.

Running on self-executing smart contracts

The International E-Registry of Ships (IERS) system is based on Perlin’s Wavelet, an open ledger for writing decentralized WebAssembly applications, financial daily Business Times reported on Oct. 14. The blockchain e-register will run on self-executing smart contracts, purportedly reducing time, costs and occurrence of errors in the registration process.

The initiative found favor with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, which is testing the registration process with the system. If the system proves to be successful in Singapore, the ICC will bid for global adoption of IERS standards in the industry.

Some rise, some fall

The market for blockchain-powered solutions has become highly demanded in the maritime sector. In late August, Thailand’s Customs Department announced it would use IBM’s Tradelens blockchain solution. The platform is expected to streamline operations by managing shipment tracking and information sharing in Thai ports.

Maritime shipping firms Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd joined blockchain tracking platform TradeLens in July. The platform aims to cut paperwork, associated costs and time in the logistics industry — which reportedly accounted for $4 trillion at the time — with over 80% of the goods carried by the ocean shipping sector.

However, some blockchain shipping initiatives fell short of initial aspirations, with blockchain shipping startup 300cubits suspending operations of its booking module and the circulation of its TEU token in October. Low transaction volume — with only a couple hundred containers using the system — made the operation unfruitful.

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