AB InBev tests blockchain solution for shipping industry

on Mar 15, 2018

The world’s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has participated in a successful pilot of a blockchain solution for the global shipping industry.

A blockchain consortium comprising AB InBev, Accenture, APL, Kuehne + Nagel and a European customs organisation, announced yesterday in a press release that it had tested a blockchain-based solution aimed at eliminating the need for printed shipping documents. Instead, the relevant data is shared and distributed using blockchain technology.

According to the press release, the solution, developed by Accenture, was used for 12 real-world shipments, with various destinations, each with different regulatory requirements. The trials “confirmed that blockchain can reduce operating costs and increase supply chain visibility”, the consortium said, adding that Accenture’s solution could benefit the shipping industry in a number of ways, including speeding up the entire flow of transport documents, reducing the requirement for data entry by up to 80%, simplifying data amendments across the shipping process, streamlining the checks required for cargo and reducing the burden and risk of penalties for customs compliance levied on customers.

AB InBev, which acted as a typical exporter during the trials, is seemingly convinced that blockchain is a “transformational” technology.

 “We continually evaluate new technologies and innovations to enhance our operations to meet consumer needs and deliver the freshest beer,” Danillo Figueiredo, the company’s vice president of international logistics, said. “Blockchain technology will be transformational to our business and the world. It reduces mistakes, digitizes information and improves the supply chain process so we can focus on our core business of brewing the best beers for consumers.”

This view was echoed by other participants in the pilot. The chief information officer of Kuehne + Nagel, Martin Kolbe, described blockchain as “one of the most promising technologies in logistics”, while Eddie Ng of APL said that the company was “happy to be part of the exciting journey to explore how disruptive technology like blockchain can benefit our industry”.