Digitalisation of Trade - Pathway to Blockchain

Chinsay's Managing Director (Singapore) and Director of Product Strategy, Colin Hayward, was invited to give a keynote titled "Digitalisation of Trade - Pathway to Blockchain" at the inaugural Maritime Capital Forum held in Singapore on 17 November 2017, moderated by Andrew Hartley, MD of CLSA's Singapore office. The forum, jointly organised by CLSA, Singapore Shipping Association and Transport Capital, and supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, sought to connect best-in-class shipping companies with institutional and private equity investors as well as technologists. 

Here are four key takeaways from Colin's keynote:

 
 CHINSAY’s keynote address on “Digitalisation of Trade – Pathway to Blockchain”

CHINSAY’s keynote address on “Digitalisation of Trade – Pathway to Blockchain”

 

1. The Challenges of Digitalisation

Chinsay has a long track record in providing an online collaborative platform for freight contract management. The problem experienced in the earlier days was the paper piles of freight contracts, the inherent associated inefficiencies and lack of risk oversight. Two decades on, the Chinsay Recap Manager has digitalised the drafting, validating and issuing of freight contracts for charterers, shipowners and shipbrokers of all shapes and sizes.

How do we increase revenue and reduce costs? How do we identify operational inefficiencies and risks?”

There are many challenges on the digitalisation journey, not least the need to reconcile legacy systems and processes with the new and innovative solutions. There is rising interest amongst our clients to make use of new solutions but often they solve discrete problems in isolation. It seems the challenge for our clients is what problem to solve first.

Key considerations for our clients have been to deploy solutions that are scalable and flexible so as to keep pace with the changing dynamics of the freight and commodity industries. Concerns are frequently expressed around security, flexibility and scalability. We have often been asked how Chinsay will be relevant in the future given the increasing pace of change and the number of new entrants in maritime technology. 

2. Opportunities and Benefits of Digitalisation

Colin outlined the opportunities associated with digitalising the contracting process for the shipping industry, "one that sees companies digitising not just the output, but digitalising the entire process, reviewing granular data so it can be used to drive operational excellence and use of Value Added Services.”

 
 CHINSAY’s Managing Director (Singapore) and Director of Product Strategy, Colin Hayward, delivering a keynote speech at the Maritime Capital Forum on 17 November 2017

CHINSAY’s Managing Director (Singapore) and Director of Product Strategy, Colin Hayward, delivering a keynote speech at the Maritime Capital Forum on 17 November 2017

 

Many of our clients have begun to realise the cross-functional benefits of embracing technology. While the benefits of digitalising trade are apparent, business owners need to have a clear end-goal and plan to achieve it.

Our mission is to become the ‘infrastructure technology’ for freight and commodity companies. This means we will digitalise some of the fundamental processes within chartering and commodity trading. It unlocks great value for our clients, more than just the creation of a charter party or commodity contract. In reality, the production of a pdf contract will be the least interesting thing we do in the next 12 to 18 months...

Previously unobtainable data sets can be unveiled to reveal commercial and operational opportunities. Helping clients to maintain trading margins and avoid operational risks whilst driving operational effectiveness and efficiency – this is what keeps Chinsay at the heart of the industry’s digital transformation.

You are an integral part of these new smart, transparent supply chains. Your clients are also investing heavily in digitalisation and they will choose partners who mirror their efforts, have the same expectations and see the opportunity of using emerging technologies.

3. Blockchain – What it is and How will it affect the industry

At Chinsay, we are increasingly being asked by clients about our view on Blockchain. There is a lot of discussion and some confusion around Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), but still a great willingness to adopt the technology within the freight and commodity markets. It is, however, unclear what problems DLT can resolve for these industries and how it differs significantly from existing technologies. 

Many of the headline benefits of DLT, when considered within our field of focus, seem to be already available within existing solutions. Clearly, there is a lot of interest and time spent trying to decipher and ground the benefits. At Chinsay we work hard to keep abreast of all the relevant developments and will ensure our clients leverage on all emerging technologies.

Without doubt, transforming your business processes from manual functional silos to connected digitalised processes will help companies integrate technologies such as Smart Contracts and Blockchain.
 
 Colin Hayward from CHINSAY, with Andrew Hartley from CLSA, fielding questions from the floor.

Colin Hayward from CHINSAY, with Andrew Hartley from CLSA, fielding questions from the floor.

 

4. CHINSAY at the Forefront of Digitalising Trade

Building upon the success of the Chinsay Recap Manager in the shipping industry, Chinsay's latest Commodity Contract Manager platform helps companies define and organise their processes to manage inefficiencies and identify opportunities. 

…. the digitalisation of trade should be evolution not revolution. Our extensive network of clients is generally not interested in being disrupted. They are more interested in being able to withstand the threats disruption may bring. The relationships Chinsay has developed over the last decade within the freight industry will enable us to work closely with market participants and help them to make the most of emerging technologies.