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.

AccessTimeIconJul 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.

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Investing in the Future of the Digital Economy
October 18-19 | Spring Studio, NYC