MTI tests blockchain in recycling supply chain
August 1, 2017
Marine Transport International (MTI) has launched a proof-of-concept trial to connect parties involved in the recycling supply chain via blockchain technology.
Incorporating Increase Computers’ Fred (for fast remote entry of data), claimed to be the most widely used recycling software in the UK, the trial will link all parties involved in the recycling ecosystem from supplier to shipper through to port operator. The aim is to bring the same efficiencies to the recycling industry as have been seen in blockchain-enabled container shipping.
Through MTI’s blockchain connection, information is instantly shared with haulier, shipper, port operator and ocean carrier. Without the connection to the blockchain network, all the data would need to be uploaded into the individual parties’ systems, entailing dozens of emails and paperwork. The new system will not only streamline the supply chain, but also increase the integrity of data processes due to the security-by-design that blockchain enables.
“By incorporating blockchain into a live process, we’re tapping into a major opportunity to help the recycling industry hugely simplify the way it transports material,” said Phil Short, managing director of Increase Computers. “There has been a huge amount of hype around blockchain; with this proof of concept we’re involved in a real and practical application with significant global potential.”
Following successful completion of the trial, Increase is aiming to roll out to its customer base, which includes most of the major recycling businesses in the UK.
“We now own a plug-in to the MTI network, which means we can support our customers to share their shipment information with everyone involved in the supply chain,” said Short. “The beauty of MTI’s technology is that it can integrate with other systems, so while it’s preferable that everyone is part of the same network, we can still connect with them via existing devices if they aren’t. In addition, it takes out the laborious process of booking shipments and moving recovered materials.”
Jody Cleworth, CEO of MTI, added: “Fred is the UK market leader in recycled materials software, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on this proof of concept to demonstrate the practical application of our blockchain technology in the recycling supply chain. Working with Phil and his team has meant we’re able to share all the data shippers, carriers, hauliers and ports needed to process shipments, without the accompanying workload. The shipping of recovered materials is heavily regulated, and we’ve had a real impact in simplifying the process while remaining compliant. The potential savings in time and money for less regulated commodities is huge.”
Established in 1982, Increase Computers was originally a software house, before expanding to supply hardware, networks and support. Its vertical market software for the recycling industry, Fred, began development in 1985. The latest version was released in 2012, and is now operated by over 500 users daily.
Links with Sage began in 1986, when the organisation was in its infancy. Increase Computers has, in a sense, grown-up with Sage, and is accredited as a fully licensed Sage business partner and developer. It now supplies and supports a multitude of Sage software products, including Sage 50, Sage 200, Sage Manufacturing and Sage CRM, as well as training, consultation and support.
MTI has offices in New York and the UK with access to more than 30 years of technology and logistics experience.