Marine Transport International (MTI) has launched a proof of concept trial which aims to connect parties involved in the recycling supply chain via blockchain technology. Incorporating FRED, the most widely used recycling software in the UK, the trial will link all parties involved in the recycling ecosystem from supplier to shipper right through to port operator. The initiative is hoped to bring the same efficiencies to the recycling industry that have been seen in blockchain-enabled container shipping.

Through MTI’s blockchain connection, information is instantly shared with haulier, shipper, port operator and ocean carrier. Without the connection to the blockchain network, all the data would need to be uploaded into the individual parties’ systems, entailing dozens of emails and paperwork. The new system will not only streamline the supply chain, but will also increase the integrity of data processes due to the security-by-design that blockchain enables.

Phil Short, managing director of Increase Computers and the developers of FRED, comments: “By incorporating blockchain into a live process, we’re tapping into a major opportunity to help the recycling industry hugely simplify the way it transports material. There has been a huge amount of hype around blockchain – with this proof of concept we’re involved in a real and practical application with significant global potential.”

Following successful completion of the trial, Increase is aiming to roll out to its customer base, which includes most of the major recycling businesses in the UK. “We now own a plug-in to the MTI network, which means we can support our customers to share their shipment information with everyone involved in the supply chain. The beauty of MTI’s technology is that it can integrate with other systems, so while it’s preferable that everyone is part of the same network, we can still connect with them via existing devices if they aren’t. In addition it takes out the laborious process of booking shipments and moving recovered materials.”

Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International, further comments: “FRED is the UK market leader in recycled materials software, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on this proof of concept to demonstrate the practical application of our blockchain technology in the recycling supply chain. Working with Phil and his team has meant we’re able to share all the data shippers, carriers, hauliers and ports needed to process shipments, without the accompanying workload. The shipping of recovered materials is heavily regulated, and we’ve had a real impact in simplifying the process while remaining compliant.  The potential savings in time and money for less regulated commodities is huge.”