Samsung Electronics Turns to Blockchain to Track its Global Supply Chains



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Electronics manufacturing giant Samsung is considering a blockchain platform to manage and keep track of shipments of its vast global supply chain network.

In a significant endorsement of blockchain technology, Samsung Electronics – the world’s biggest chipmaker and smartphones manufacturer – is considering a broad implementation of a blockchain ledger platform to track its global shipments.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Song Kwang-woo, blockchain chief at Samsung SDS – the IT subsidiary of the Samsung – revealed that a blockchain system could slash shipping costs by 20 percent.

Notably, the executive also confirmed that SDS is working on developing the blockchain platform for Samsung Electronics, placing it among the earliest global manufacturers to seriously explore the applicability of blockchain technology at such a scale.

SDS has proven experience in implementing blockchain technology for the logistics and shipping industry, successfully concluding a 7-month pilot project to record and track shipping logistics of imports and exports in Korea’s massive shipping industry in December 2017.

Samsung SDS’ Song added:

It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.

The report suggests SDS ‘expects to handle 488,000 tons of air cargo and 1 million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) shipping units” in 2018. The shipments include everything from flagship Samsung devices like the Galaxy S9 and the upcoming Note 9, as well as OLED displays used by Apple’s iPhoneX, to home electronics and more.

Beyond tracking shipments, a blockchain platform could even reduce the time and ramp up efficiency between product launches and their shipments to end users.

Delivering Blockchain Tech

While details of Samsung Electronics’ foray into using the decentralised technology remain slim for now, Samsung SDS developed and deployed ‘Nexledger’, its own blockchain platform for enterprises and businesses over a year ago.

In May 2017, SDS launched a blockchain pilot for Korea’s shipping industry to track imports and exports of cargo shipments in real-time by leading a consortium that included Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, the Korea Customs Service, technology giant IBM and major freight operator Hyundai Merchant Marine, among others.

Samsung SDS, which is also a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), successfully completed its first trial run of a shipment that saw the entire process of a shipment, including booking and delivery, from Korea to China. As mentioned above, SDS concluded its pilot in late 2017 that ultimately aims to process “all exports and imports” in Korea using blockchain.

In November 2017, the metropolitan government of Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, chose Samsung SDS to develop a roadmap and deploy blockchain technology to the city’s entire administration as a means to improve transparency and enhance citizen convenience. Seoul city’s government has previously announced its intention to apply blockchain technology across “the entire municipal administration’ by 2022.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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