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September 3 2018

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September 3 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 17 www.joc.com International Maritime JOB: POR-P01-Y18577D T:4.625" T:7.25" The Port of New York and New Jersey off ers direct access to one of the most affl uent consumer markets in the world. Our rail and highway networks provide superior connection to other key markets for fi nished vehicle import and export. • Premier automotive labor force • Multiple public berths to support Ro-Ro vessel activities • Access to two Class 1 railroads for both imports and exports • Foreign-Trade Zone status Speed Your Auto to Market that, but not because of the blockchain but rather the API functionality tied to the blockchain. The blockchain is not the mechanism driving the real-time visibility, it is the benefactor of the API integration." APIs are a method of system-to-system communication that are gaining traction in shipping and logistics as a more real-time claimed the solution could reduce "ship- ping times" by 40 percent. "For argument, let us say the typical transit from [Shanghai] to [Los Angeles] via ocean is 14 days," Nutting wrote. "Is it the case IBM is saying they will cut this to eight days? This is my biggest criticism of [block- chain] technology, the over-exaggerated claims. Shipping times get cut nearly in half, by having a distributed ledger of data?" While the reports probably meant to refer to either a potential reduction in end-to-end shipment time, or more likely, such a reduction in the human resources needed to manage a shipment, the thread seemed to underscore the extent to which shippers are exposed to inaccurate infor- mation or inflated expectations surround- ing blockchain's role in logistics. "When blockchain moves from competing platforms to a global stan- dard adopted across your supply chain ecosystem, it should reduce transaction administration and traceability effort by even more than 40 percent," wrote Colin Taylor, founder and principal at Cleaca Consulting and a veteran of Maersk Data and IBM. "But shipping times of interna- tional cargo? ... No. Blockchain attracts false kudos for shipment visibility, which is confused with traceability." Part of the issue may be that block- chain is so early in its maturation, and there are so few tangible examples of commercialized products in logistics, that single-use cases get extrapolated into broader potential too easily. "I'm very confident that what IBM and Maersk are doing will provide long-term benefit, but when I see 'one example' at the beginning of any stat, it is likely the author capturing an outlier as a best-case scenario," said Brian Glick, founder and CEO of logistics technology provider Chain.io. "Even a 10 percent to 20 percent impact on time in transit due to reduced port delays across a large swath of ship- ments would be awesome. I think the tech can accomplish that." The thread also delved into how application programming interface (API) connectivity, not blockchain, is what is driving value in terms of linking trading partners, carriers, and logistics companies in a real-time manner. "I have often said blockchain will work, and it is secure," Nutting said. "Some of the characteristics being [ascribed] to blockchain technology are not actually part of the blockchain. For instance, when you talk about real-time visibility, a blockchain solution will do way to shuttle data back and forth. The TradeLens platform has nearly 100 parties formally attached to it, the compa- nies said. They expect the solution to be commercially operational by year-end. JOC email: eric.johnson@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @LogTechEric

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