UPS and Agritech Firm Use Blockchain to Verify Beef Shipment From US to Japan

UPS and Agritech Firm Use Blockchain to Verify Beef Shipment From US to Japan

American logistics giant UPS delivered a blockchain-verified beef shipment from the U.S. to Japan

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American logistics giant UPS has successfully delivered a blockchain-verified beef shipment from the United States to Japan. The company partnered with agritech firm HerdX to incorporate its packaging technology into a blockchain network to trace the journey of beef from Kansas to Japan, the firm announced on Nov. 11.

As announced by UPS, the jointly-delivered shipment involved a blockchain partner network developed by HerdX. Meanwhile, UPS provided its visibility tool that integrates with HerdX’s blockchain technology and records live updates, registering details throughout the journey.

U.S. Embassy and Japanese officials checked the blockchain-recorded beef

The pilot was supported by the United States Embassy in Japan and was announced at a special dinner event in Tokyo, UPS stated.

The steak reportedly left Kansas on Nov. 4, after which it arrived at a steakhouse in Tokyo where guests including U.S. Embassy and Japanese officials were able to scan QR codes to access data about the food’s journey.

UPS’s blockchain initiative is not the first time blockchain has been used to track meat. In November 2018, the South Korean government announced it will use blockchain for tracing beef to provide consumers with more data about its supply chain. In March 2018, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com implemented blockchain tech to monitor meat from a farm in Australia.

In late 2018, UPS chief engineering and information officer Juan Perez said that he did not expect any significant benefits from the implementation of blockchain technology.


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American logistics giant UPS delivered a blockchain-verified beef shipment from the U.S. to Japan

First Successful Blockchain-tracked Shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands

First Successful Blockchain-tracked Shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands

As a proof-of-concept, a shipping container has completed its transcontinental, blockchain-automated shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands

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Samsung SDS, Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the Port of Rotterdam have jointly conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands in which they tracked a container exclusively using an interoperable blockchain platform, according to a report by The Maritime Executive on July 1.

According to the announcement, the container was tracked via the blockchain platform “DELIVER,” which allowed for the shipment to be instantly financed, fully tracked, and conducted paperlessly. 

According to Port of Rotterdam CFO Paul Smits, the traditional process of shipping is usually paper-heavy and inefficient:

“Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits […] This results in inefficiency, as many parties are involved and everything is organized via paper documentation. For instance, an average 28 parties are involved in container transport from China to Rotterdam.”

The blockchain platform DELIVER was reportedly co-developed by the three partnering organizations, and is an interoperable platform that supports Ethereum and Hyperledger applications, according to TokenPost. According to the report, integrating multiple blockchains actually provides a number of functional benefits, including document notarization, double payment prevention, and asset transference. 

Han Seung-yeop, a manager at Samsung SDS reportedly commented:

„The Customs Clearance Blockchain System at the Korea Customs Service is based on Hyperledger Fabric, while Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands is using the Ethereum Platform […] We started the Deliver project to connect different platforms.”

Now that the proof-of-concept shipment is complete, the organizations behind the project have signed an agreement to launch multiple pilot projects based on the shipping platform, as per the Port of Rotterdam announcement. Further, they say that the end goal is to provide a global and independent platform for shipping.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Samsung SDS, Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the Port of Rotterdam announced their partnership and intention of testing a blockchain solution for shipments in October of last year.


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As a proof-of-concept, a shipping container has completed its transcontinental, blockchain-automated shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands