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How blockchain technology is beefing up supply chain visibility

The customer

Highland Foods is a Korean food company that specialises in the sourcing, import, and distribution of meat to various retailers across the country. Their products include beef, pork, chicken, and lamb, as well as certain processed goods such as wine and oil. The company sources their products from 16 countries worldwide, supplying meat to over 2,000 domestic customers. While the company is growing rapidly, they also need to contend with several challenges in their expanding supply chain.

How blockchain technology is beefing up supply chain visibility

The challenge

The biggest obstacle facing Highland Foods was a lack of visibility on their cargo. This is a common problem for importers, as they often have little to no visibility on shipments until the vessel arrives at a port. However, unforeseen changes to transport plans can cause delays, making it challenging to prioritise and reroute other shipments.

Additionally, as they deal primarily in perishable items, Highland Foods had to arrange for the immediate transportation of their cargo as soon as the shipments landed in Korea. Managing these unpredictable changes led to a lot of time and effort being diverted away from their core business. They needed a solution that could provide them with greater end-to-end visibility and help them manage their supply chain more efficiently.

How blockchain technology is beefing up supply chain visibility

The Solution

Like Highland Foods, many importers around the world lack the tools they need to enhance their supply chain visibility. TradeLens aims to resolve this issue by harnessing the power of a "networked platform business model underpinned" by blockchain technology. This innovative shipping platform can be extended to all the stakeholders across a supply chain, such as ocean carriers, an importer’s supplier, their retail customers, financial service providers and more. The highly integrated TradeLens platform allows suppliers to generate real-time status updates on shipments providing complete visibility to the importer’s "permissioned" stakeholders "as soon as the information is published". Inventory management is also synchronised effortlessly, and status updates can be easily "integrated " into a company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

With this enhanced visibility, importers such as Highland Foods can significantly improve communication across their entire supply chain and gain greater control over every shipment.

The result

With TradeLens, Highland Foods are now receiving real-time data on their shipments to help accelerate shipping processes. And thanks to its highly flexible API capabilities, they are utilising updated TradeLens data and integrating it seamlessly into their current internal systems.

Through the TradeLens API integration, we are able to perform auto data synchronisation into our EDI system 3 times a day, which enables more effective inventory management. We are also able to plan our warehouse schedule at the bonded area better, via real-time ETA updates and notifications to the task owners.

Sunghub Song,
Team Leader, Information Planning Team Highland Foods Co. Ltd

Looking ahead, Highland Foods’ supply chain partners will soon be able to easily update important information and documents on the platform to expedite shipping, without the need for a custom point-topoint setup. With TradeLens, their supply chain is now faster, cheaper, and more transparent than ever before.

The future of supply chain is here

To learn how your supply chain can harness the power of blockchain technology, contact your Maersk sales representative or reach out to us directly at TradeLens.APA.GTM@maersk.com.

About TradeLens

The TradeLens platform has been jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. TradeLens is an open and neutral industry platform underpinned by blockchain technology, supported by major players across the global shipping industry. The platform promotes the efficient, transparent, and secure exchange of information to help foster greater collaboration and trust across the global supply chain.

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