South Korean Ministries Come Together for Port Logistics Blockchain Innovation Pilot

According to a press release published on December 18 from South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIT), two South Korean government ministries have launched a blockchain innovation pilot for port logistics.  The two ministries, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and MSIT, have launched a blockchain solution and are currently testing whether the technology can make Korea’s container shipping industry more efficient.

As with all areas of operations, there is a heavy amount of data that needs to be captured and shared between the different parts of the operation. Sometimes the differences between systems can lead to mistakes which cause disruption to operations. The aim of this initiative is to see whether blockchain technology can significantly increase transparency between all parts of the logistics industry. It is hoped that the technology can streamline the administrative processes involved in import and export operations. With blockchain, there is the potential for real-time data sharing which can vastly improve the efficiency of operations.

At present this innovation is a pilot, in the testing stage; however, if the pilot proves to be successful, then South Korea plans to expand the technology and roll it out to more logistics operations.

South Korea is showing increasing support for blockchain technology solutions. In August, the South Korea government earmarked a 5 trillion won ($4.4 billion USD) budget for “Growth through Innovation.” This innovation budget goes towards 8 key areas of technology, blockchain being one.

The South Korean finance ministry said:

“The measures will help facilitate the platform economy, which in turn will help speed up innovative growth.”

It is clear that South Korea sees great value in boosting blockchain projects within the country. They are looking at how blockchain can improve several areas of society within Korea, for example, they are also working on piloting a blockchain voting system as a step up from their current online political voting system.

The logistics industry lends itself to blockchain technology due to the high volume and flow of data that needs to be captured in real-time. Although the program is still in the pilot stage, we are expecting it to be successful and provide some improved benefits to the system.

The press release states:

“In the next year, we will support blockchain technology to be used in areas closely related to people’s lives to create innovative cases.”

It is fair to say South Korea is one of the major players in the blockchain space and it will be interesting to see what other programs are launched over the next year.

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