Global Shipping Giant Cosco to Trial Alibaba's Ant Blockchain

Ant Financial claims its enterprise blockchain can handle a billion transaction a day and save costs in global shipping.

Jul 8, 2020 at 9:34 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. UTC

One of the world's largest freight carriers wants to use an enterprise blockchain from the Alibaba Group to cut costs.

  • Shanghai-based Cosco Shipping confirmed earlier this week it would trial Ant Blockchain, a product of Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, to streamline its operations.
  • Cosco Shipping runs a fleet of 1,330 vessels with a combined cargo-carrying capacity of just under 106 million tons, one of the largest in the world.
  • In a statement Monday, the companies said blockchain could be used to distribute verified and tamper-proof key documentation, such as container records and import licenses, to relevant parties.
  • Ant Group's executive chairman, Eric Jing, said Ant blockchain – which can reportedly process up to a billion transactions daily – can make global shipping more efficient.
  • Earlier this year, electric car manufacturer Tesla said it was testing blockchain with Shanghai's port authority to see whether it made importing goods any easier.
  • In May, both Ant and Alibaba began trialing blockchain with the port operator China Merchants.

EDIT (July 9, 14:10): A previous version of this article called Ant Group by its former name Ant Financial and described it as a subsidiary. This has now been corrected.

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