In 2010, a total of 60,053 bio. ton-kilometers were shipped. According to estimates, this number is expected to quadruple in 2050. In the peak year 2008, before the global economic crisis, Germany handled a total of more than 316 million tons of goods. Modern merchant shipping is characterized using many different documents. The documentation obligations range from the keeping of ship certificates, the creation of ship‘s diaries, to transport documents which are necessary for the actual transport. The most important document of freight transport is still the Bill of Lading (B/L). It fulfils several functions: On the one hand, it proves that a good in the form described has been taken over by the carrier. On the other hand, it certifies the obligation to deliver the goods to the place of destination and to deliver them to the consignee. Furthermore, the transfer of ownership of the goods listed in the B/L can be replaced by the transfer of the B/L (document of title). Until now, it has been necessary for the B/L to be handed out in paper form so that the participants in the transport process are able to verify the documents. This process requires an immense amount of time and money. German lawmakers have recognized the need for electronic B/L. With the introduction of sec. 516 par. 2 German Commercial Code, electronic records of the B/L have become equivalent to a paper-based B/L.
The central goal of the project is to develop a legally watertight platform based on blockchain technology that enables the creation and trading of digital tokens as B/Ls. The distributed structure creates trust and transparency.
Haptik is coordinated by the University of Oldenburg. As a partner in the project OFFIS takes over the part to enable a secure authentication of the involved actors based on a global federated and decentral identity management. Furthermore, OFFIS leads the integration of to be developed technical platform-services in the Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) to achieve interoperability between the envisioned platform and common maritime systems onboard a vessel and ashore. This includes also IT-security aspects such as encryption.
This project uses the OFFIS research platform eMIR to test and demonstrate the maritime systems usage onboard a vessel via the MCP.
The project is funded by the BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy).