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Kuehne + Nagel builds in blockchain

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CargoLogistics provider Kuehne + Nagel is applying blockchain technology to upgrade its existing Verified Gross Mass (VGM) portal. VGM is the weight of cargo, including the dunnage, bracing and tare weight of the container.

Since 2016, the IMO has enforced the regulation that requires the shipper to provide the weight of loaded containers. Kuehne + Nagel said its upgrade provides shippers with new features that improve the degree of transparency on the VGM status of all shipments.

All information submitted via the portal – designed by the company’s own sea freight experts and information technology team – is now stored ‘on-chain’, allowing data exchange with third parties and removing the need for additional ‘off-chain’ communication channels, the German company explained.

“Our customers benefit from a tamper-proof solution for information exchange with third parties with improved efficiency and higher transparency,” said chief information officer Martin Kolbe.

The logistics provider is engaged in a number of blockchain projects with customers, suppliers and governmental bodies addressing industry challenges in various areas, he added.

“The full potential of blockchain can only be exploited when collaboratively working together with business partners. Our involvement in a consortium engaged in the digitalisation of bill of ladings for sea freight is the best example,” he said.

The first version of Kuehne + Nagel’s VGM Portal went live in 2016 with the purpose of making it easier for shippers to file VGM declarations as required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

The company stressed its upgraded system strictly fulfils industry requirements of confidentiality and data privacy.