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Samsung Eyes Blockchain to Slash Shipping Costs by 20 Percent

Samsung is giving serious thought to how blockchain could better track billions of dollars of cell phone and component shipments, and slash shipping costs by as much as 20 percent, according to a Bloomberg report.

Samsung SDS, the company’s logistics and infotech subsidiary, is said to be looking at how the distributed ledger technology can improve Samsung Electronics’ sprawling global supply chain.

For Samsung, blockchain could reduce the lag time between the latest product launch and when products actually ship, thereby better competing with rivals in places like China, the article noted. The report said Samsung SDS estimates it will ship 488,000 tons of air cargo and more than 1 million TEU shipping units in 2018.

Though still an emerging technology, blockchain has been adopted by many large enterprises aiming to streamline processes, create transparency and trust, and enable greater visibility into inventory status and more. Salesforce recently said it wants to launch a blockchain product in time for its September Dreamforce user conference.

Logistics and supply chain are especially ripe for disruption by digital technologies like blockchain, which could safeguard verifiable information, reduce reliance on manual and paper-based processes and improve data accuracy.

When they first emerged, cryptocurrency and blockchain—the distributed ledger technology that makes virtual currencies like Bitcoin possible—were inextricably tied up together. Now, however, their paths are diverging as large corporate entities explore the separate value of each innovation.

Still, not everyone is convinced that blockchain in its current state is suited for enterprise applications. A team of researchers exploited security holes in the “smart contracts” that form the bedrock of blockchain technology.