A guideline for merchants to excel in fluid and dynamic international trade supply chains.

A guideline for merchants to excel in fluid and dynamic international trade supply chains.

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An overview on the current situation:

Profits in the commodity trading industry have grown from $35 billion  in 2017, to $45 billion in 2020, despite Covid. International traders face significant pressure to streamline their operations in order to efficiently capture a larger size of the pie.

While capturing additional market share market remains crucial, embracing the digital transformation of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) remains the single most important ingredient of increased profitability.

SCM digitalization answers this question: “how do SCM participants efficiently operate online, while managing the many supply chain complexities”. SCM digitalization automates the decision process, limits human errors and reduce costs.

The untold billions lost during the Suez Canal blockage made reducing Suez-dependency one of the main challenges international SCM currently faces. While several technologies such as 5G IoT are contributory, blockchain is the single most important contributor to SCM digitalization.

Researches done by McKinsey & Company in 2021 and IBM in 2009 points to agricultural and metals supply chain executives adopting blockchain-based SCM to ensure better flexibility and agility while also reducing risk and costs.

As a decentralized public ledger system blockchain documents in real time, in an authoritative and irrevocable manner, all changes in a record such as exacts time of all shipping events and even sensor data if available (container temperature, humidity.)

It provides transparent records, lower costs and efficient route information by reducing bottlenecks and clerical errors. Blockchain-assisted smart contracts reduce retailers’ reliance of brokerage and lawyers.

They consist of binding agreements that will automatically dissolve if any of the pre-agreed stipulations aren’t met. 

Unlike other data sources blockchain data is “clean” and true by definition, which in turn allows for superior AI-enabled Analytics which in turn will generate actionable, efficiency-increasing supply-chain insights such as ship stall avoidance.

The immediate application of blockchain SCM is most evident in comparing time-sensitive high-value shipment of agricultural and metal shipments, from Asia, via either sea, through the Suez or via the BRI Northern or Mongolian Route.

While sea freight needs on average 42 days, rail freight -only needs 14-16 days to reach Europe.

The risk of a costly, if not debilitating single-point failure, is lower via rail, as recently witnessed by the Suez blockage. Rail freeing contracts and documentation are more complex than sea-freight ones.

However, blockchain-enabled rail-freight successfully reduces uncertainty, and disputes, and thus lowers transactions costs by 63-75% when compared to sea freight.

In addition, the long-run value of blockchain enabled analytics is estimated by most analysts at 3-5% of the annual value of all shipments.

In summary, rail -freight offers substantial advantages against sea-freight but it adds complexity. Intelligent use of blockchain has the potential to tame the complexity and thus to translate into lower overall costs for a superior service.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) develops plans for implementing ledger technology in shipping.

Currently working on common standards and practices for the industry it also educates professionals on blockchain benefits. UPS, FedEx, Uber Freight, Union Pacific Railroad and project44 are some of BiTA’s member companies.

A solution for the crisis:

As Cubri Services continues to expand, we are now able to assist our clients with their shipping and logistics. Unlike other business who can only provide partial services, we can significantly reduce the cost of capital and save time for your business from one single platform.  

Whether it is air, ocean, land, such as non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC), freight forwarders, trucks, or warehousing, Cubri will help you to tailor your program based on your needs.

You can reach out to us if you also believe the next trend to success in the logistic industry lies in blockchain and technology integration.


Cheng, S. (2021, April 07). The suez canal event awakens the world to the need of a more robust international trade supply chain. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://cubriservices.com/robust-international-trade-supply-chain/


Denis, N., Dilda, V., Kalouche, R., & Sabah, R. (2020, October 15). Agriculture supply-chain optimization and value creation. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/agriculture/our-insights/agriculture-supply-chain-optimization-and-value-creation