The increasing role of blockchain technology in logistics and supply chain is not a secret. We hear the news of various companies adopting blockchain to improve their supply chains every now and then. Now Europe’s barge market is also set to be improved with the help of blockchain.

Two companies, namely VAKT and essDOCS, have joined hands to make it happen.

Before we look into the partnership, let us learn a little about them. essDOCS is a company specializing in paperless processing of trade transactions, while VAKT specializes in paperless post-trade processing of commodities. Together, these companies plan to put an end to the current paper-based post-trade processing method of European barge markets.

To get started, the companies will focus on the tanker barge market of Northwestern Europe. A joint statement published by them explained how current processes work and how their process will be different from it. This is what happens under the current paper-based process:

  • Trading parties agree on information which has to be sent to the terminal
  • The agreed information is sent to the terminal
  • Terminal adds some more information to the received information
  • Terminal sends all information to barge captains
  • Barge captains agree and sign for the product quantities loaded or discharged.

This process requires exchange of physical documents on every stage. It is only after completion of this whole process that the barge sails through and seller invoices the buyer.

What’s New With VAKT and essDOCS

VAKT and essDOCS plans to make this process paperless by putting it over an immutable ledger. The ledger can serve as a single source of reliable information for every party involved in the transaction.

Anyone, including trade parties and barge captains, may retrieve the information from this ledger to confirm anything about a transaction. This can drastically improve the speed and reliability of processing, as you can imagine.

If successful in Europe, both companies are also planning to expand this system globally. In short, this European experiment has the potential to change the way how the barge transportation market operate around the world.