South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is weighing blockchain technology for supply chain network. The world’s largest mobile phone maker is planning to leverage distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline global shipment processes. Song Kwang-woo, the head of blockchain at Samsung SDS – the company’s logistical and information and technology branch – said that blockchain might help Samsung cut 20% off shipping costs.
“It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation,” Song said.
By the end of 2018, Samsung SDS anticipates the management of 488,000 tons of air cargo and 1 million standard 20’ shipping containers, which will include Galaxy S9 smartphones and diode displays manufactured by Samsung Electronics unit. The DLT system would help Samsung speed up processes and get ahead of competition especially in emerging markets like China. At the end of January, Samsung said that it had a foundry contract with a China Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer to start mass production of ASIC devices.
Samsung is not the only one seeking to actively use blockchain for the shipping industry. At the beginning of the year, A.P. Moller-Maersk partnered with IBM to build a DLT platform to support trade processing and cut costs.
In November last year, IBM, in partnership with air and travel services company Dnata, successfully tested a blockchain system for Dubai’s air cargo industry. In March, a consortium of companies operating in the freight and logistics market, including Accenture, AB InBev, APL, Kuehne + Nagel, and a Europe-based customs organization, succeeded in a blockchain test focused on shipments.
Korea is still likely to be a center for utilizing blockchain technology, as academics here warm to the technology. Cheong Tae-su, professor of industrial engineering at Korea University in Seoul, said:
“[Blockchain] cuts overhead and eliminates bottlenecks. It’s about maximizing supply efficiency and visibility, which translates into greater consumer confidence.”