IBM has completed a trial of blockchain technology to track a 28-ton shipment of mandarin oranges from China to Singapore. The main shipping document, the bill of lading, was recorded on a blockchain. This document is normally mailed to all parties involved in the shipment, including banks providing trade financing. For the pilot, IBM created an electronic bill of lading, or e-BL, which helped reduce and speed up administrative processes “to just one second”—while the standard paper-based procedure takes five to seven days.

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