Canada Border Services Test Blockchain Technology to Streamline Processes

Canada Border Services Test Blockchain Technology to Streamline Processes

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the latest entity to partner with a blockchain-based platform in a bid to make its systems more efficient.

Tracking goods is an intensive business, relying on many people and many documents. However, when you put these two components together in a high-stressed and fast-paced, human errors and misplaced documents could be the name of the game. Blockchain technology may be the solution to this.

According to Cision, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is testing out the technology as they partner with  TradeLens, a blockchain-based digital shipping platform. The latter was created by Maersk and IBM as a secure and efficient global trading solution.

Canada Finds a Blockchain Solution

If we’re talking about fast-paced, then the CBSA is definitely a good example. The agency processes about 58,600 commercial releases, 14,400 trucks, 240,000 mail items, and 127,400 courier shipments every day. The CBSA is investigating how blockchain can make processes more efficient, transparent, and streamlined.

The agency’s president, John Ossowski, elaborated:

This development is an example of the Government of Canada using innovative technology to easily and securely facilitate trade and engage in global trading ecosystems in a modern, productive manner. TradeLens could create a singular, trusted digital supply chain for all shipments entering Canada. The TradeLens pilot gives us an opportunity to not only find process efficiencies and gain analytical insights, but improve data providence, accuracy and targeting capabilities. The end result may be a faster and more reliable national supply chain, which could positively impact Canada’s economic output.

TradeLens will be able to provide stakeholders with real-time data and because records are permanent and immutable, it will also give the agency a reliable paper trail, albeit in digital form, for auditors and other authorities to follow. Mike White, who is the Head of TradeLens at Maersk, explained:

We look forward to working with the CBSA to pilot how the quality and timeliness of data in TradeLens can act as a catalyst for significant productivity gains and optimized financial cycles. Our goal is to play a leading role with all members of the World Customs Organization to help them attain faster processing of global trade data into a more effective, simplified structure and process that addresses their current challenges and future needs to improve the customer experience.

IBM Making Blockchain Waves

IBM seems to be making a name for themselves when it comes to developing blockchain-based solutions. Major U.S. retailer, Walmart, is just one of the well-known brands benefiting from an IBM partnership. TradeLens, which is built on the IBM Cloud, can reduce certain transit times by as much as 40%, which translates to savings of thousands of dollars. Some supply chain processes would also be streamlined from, for example, 10 steps to only five. The president of IBM Canada, Ayman Antoun, concluded:

We believe blockchain can play an integral role in digitizing and reinventing shipping for agencies like the Canada Border Services Agency, who are responsible for moving nearly 500,000 commercial transactions safely across Canadian borders daily. TradeLens provides a common approach to building a strong, secure and connected digital trade network that benefits all participants equally. Our work with Maersk and other enterprises in the shipping ecosystem has shown that blockchain can be used to transform a vital part of how global trade is conducted as members like the CBSA and Port of Montreal begin to interact more efficiently, securely sharing important transactions through real-time access to shipping data and shipping documents.

In addition to supply chain management, blockchain technology has also been used in online gaming and voting initiatives while the benefits of distributed ledger technology have recently been reported on by the Euro Banking Association (EBA).

Do you think that blockchain technology will make a positive impact at the CBSA? Will similar agencies also begin looking for blockchain-based solutions? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Shutterstock.

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