- At the annual Global Liner Shipping Conference in Hamburg, Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen and CMA CGM General Manager in Germany Peter Wolf said the ocean shipping industry needs a common blockchain standard, not multiple blockchain solutions, according to Shipping Watch.
- Both dismissed the Maersk-IBM blockchain solution as unusable and unsustainable, stressing that multiple blockchain solutions is "self-contradictory" because it is supposed to unify the industry under a common standard.
- They said multiple blockchain solutions will not only waste time and money, but also make it harder for regulators to govern.
Pioneering blockchain within ocean shipping is being upheld as a way to minimize paper trails, accelerate transactions and improve transparency with smart contracts.
The Maersk-IBM blockchain initiative may be the most prominent solution, but others — like Accenture and Kuehne + Nagel — have also experimented with use cases for the technology. Every solution claims to be able to save the industry millions of dollars.
But Hapag Lloyd and CMA CGM touched on a real problem facing technology adoption: There are now so many blockchain initiatives, how is the industry supposed to choose? If everyone adopts a different solution that works best for them, doesn't that defeat the point of the blockchain, which proposes to provide a universal standard?
Pharmaceutical companies and distributors wrestled with that question a month ago at a Johns Hopkins event. If multiple blockchain solutions are used, then someone has to provide a way to unify them. More time, money and other tech solutions will be needed to make them work.