The Port of Brisbane has unveiled a new system that will make it the first Australian port to integrate freight supply-chain information using blockchain technology.

The new Trade Community System uses blockchains (secure, cloud-based digital ledgers) to help remove duplications and inefficiencies in supply-chain information.

The system has been developed by the port over a number of years in collaboration with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and PwC Australia.

Commenting at the unveiling of a proof-of-concept app for the system on 29 May, ACCI Director of Trade and International Affairs Bryan Clark said efficient supply chains were vital to Australia’s international trade success.

‘As a trading nation, Australia relies on efficient and effective international supply chains to drive its economic engine room,’ said Mr Clark.

‘At present the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container.

‘This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1 billion in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market.’

Around 9 million container movements take place at Australia’s 5 major ports each year, with this figure projected to rise to 15 million movements by 2025.

Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said the new system was designed to deliver major efficiency gains through better supply-chain integration.

‘To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms which facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,’ Mr Cummins said.

‘It is the right time for industry to initiate a reform and modernisation agenda which will shift the dial for Australia’s international business.’

The Trade Community System will work to link end-to-end data, improving productivity and reducing costs through digitised trading of information.

It will address a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities Report.