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Blockchain Technology: what do you think of its application in shipbuilding industry?

Time : 01/03/2022 Author : igpter Click : + -
        Blockchain technology is a new, decentralized and highly disruptive technology, which was initially mainly used in financial services, network security, social welfare and other fields. At present, blockchain technology has been widely used in various fields of economy and society, and its development has become China's national strategy. In the field of shipping, since 2016, the world's major shipping giants have invested in the research and practice of blockchain technology application and established several technology application alliances. However, in the shipbuilding industry, blockchain technology is still in its infancy, and only a few enterprises have carried out practical application. Looking forward to the future, the potential of blockchain technology in solving practical problems in the shipbuilding industry and improving the competitiveness of enterprises needs to be tapped.
        Generally speaking, blockchain technology is an innovative application mode combining distributed storage, point-to-point transmission, consensus mechanism, encryption algorithm and other computer technologies. In essence, it is a decentralized distributed database system. The data is stored in the database of everyone on the chain, which changes the situation that the data in the traditional database is only stored in one or a few databases. Unlike the hot situation of actively alliance with shipping enterprises to promote the application of blockchain, the application of blockchain technology by shipbuilding enterprises is still in its infancy, and the application scenarios are very limited. At present, only Korean Hyundai Heavy Industry, COSCO Shipping Group Co., Ltd. and other shipbuilding enterprises have made progress in exploring the application of blockchain technology in shipbuilding industry.
        However, referring to other manufacturing industries and based on the characteristics of capital intensive, long industrial collaborative chain and high-end development of shipbuilding industry, it is not difficult to find that the potential application scenarios of blockchain in shipbuilding industry are actually very rich, and can even run through the whole life cycle of ships. The application of blockchain technology will help shipbuilding enterprises extend and optimize the value chain, improve their total factor productivity and market share, develop high value-added products, and realize the transformation to "manufacturing + service" enterprises. Shipbuilding industry has the characteristics of capital intensive, complex business and long industrial chain. Inevitably, there are problems of unequal information, poor information timeliness and high intermediate cost. It has a broad space for the development of blockchain technology.
        Application scenarios include supply chain finance, supply chain management, ship financing, ship insurance, business contracts, etc. As far as ship financing is concerned, the whole process of business activities involves many subjects such as ship owners, shipyards, leasing companies, middlemen, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, rating agencies, classification societies and supporting enterprises, and involves many business contents such as background investigation, business negotiation, financial analysis, credit rating and business contracts. Each subject participates in different stages of the whole process, and there are obvious differences in the degree of information knowledge, This has led to problems such as low mutual trust, poor communication efficiency and many business disputes, and there is huge room for business improvement.
        By applying blockchain technology, the shipbuilding industry can establish an application system covering the whole process of ship financing. On the premise of ensuring data security and privacy, all relevant subjects can fully share the data of all links, effectively solve the problem of information asymmetry, greatly improve the transaction efficiency and reduce the transaction cost, so as to build an efficient and reliable ship financing ecosystem. Taking ship construction contract as an example, an agreement recognized by ship owners, shipyards and intermediaries can be formed through technologies such as smart contract of blockchain. This agreement can be used in many scenarios such as ship insurance evaluation, legal dispute resolution and supporting supplier financing. It has higher credibility and application efficiency than the construction contract signed in the traditional way.
        It is worth noting that in the blockchain era, the role of intermediaries and related intermediaries may weaken or even disappear, which is of positive significance for further reducing the transaction costs of shipowners and shipyards and improving the competitiveness of the industry. As a typical knowledge intensive complex product design, the process of ship product design often covers conceptual design, basic design, detailed design and production design, and requires the cooperation of ship owners, classification societies, shipyards, design institutes, ship supporting enterprises and other organizations. It is a business field of multi-disciplinary, multi-technical and multi professional cooperation. The traditional ship design mode inevitably has the characteristics of "centralization" due to objective reasons, which determines the problems in data security, accuracy, transparency, real-time, transmission and so on.
        Through the "weak centralization" blockchain technology, we can solve some problems inherent in the traditional ship design and improve the application level of design in the whole life of the ship, including improving the informatization level of ship collaborative development, strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and supporting the whole process management from design to post-sale. The main task of shipbuilding industry to promote intelligent manufacturing is to realize the vertical integration of information system within shipbuilding enterprises and the horizontal integration between different enterprises based on value chain and information flow, so as to realize the digitization and networking of shipbuilding. The introduction of blockchain technology into ship assembly and construction enterprises can establish a highly information-based operation and management process and information sharing platform, achieve clear rights and responsibilities, flexible and efficient, help ship enterprises establish new enterprise production organization methods, strengthen the cooperation between enterprises and industrial chain, solve the security and efficiency problems of industrial Internet, support the intelligent upgrading of ship enterprises, and play a positive role in improving the intelligent manufacturing level of ship enterprises.
        Ship products have the characteristics of customized design, small batch production, high-frequency replacement and long-term cross regional operation. Its particularity determines the continuity, complexity and globalization of business in the after-sales service stage. At the same time, with the increasingly severe market situation of shipping and other related industries, the needs of ship owners for financing, insurance and business consulting are becoming more and more urgent. It is precisely because of these characteristics of the after-sales service demand of ship products that the vast majority of ship enterprises, including large and super large ship enterprises, are difficult to meet the diversified needs of ship owners after delivering ship products, resulting in the long-term struggle at the bottom of the "smile curve". To sum up, the main factors restricting the after-sales service ability of ship enterprises are the coordination ability of internal and external resources and the application ability of technical means, especially information means.
        However, the security, reliability, smart contract and other characteristics of blockchain technology can solve these problems to a certain extent, help enterprises establish an after-sales service ecosystem with internal and external collaboration and internal collaboration, and apply information technology throughout the product life cycle, so as to comprehensively improve the global maintenance service and material supply capacity, full cycle value-added service capacity and full link financial service capacity of enterprises. The prediction data of ship and shipping market is an important reference to guide ship enterprises to carry out production and operation activities. However, due to the authority of each centralized organization to independently modify the data, the reliability of the data can not be guaranteed, which makes the market demand information opaque and the industry-oriented prediction inaccurate, which often leads to the inaccurate prediction data of ship market and can not play a practical supporting role.
        The introduction of blockchain technology with non tamperable and decentralized information can completely record all data in the whole life cycle of the ship, and realize the networking and transparency of all relevant information in the shipping and shipbuilding industry. Relying on the real and reliable massive data mastered by themselves, ship enterprises can accurately predict the market demand, reasonably arrange the enterprise production planning, provide value-added services for ship owners, guide ship owners to reasonably control the fleet size and arrange ship transportation routes, and have a closer cooperative relationship with customers. With the rise of blockchain technology to national strategic technology, the application of blockchain to the high-quality development of China's shipbuilding industry ushers in the best opportunity. In order to promote the integrated development of blockchain technology and China's shipbuilding field, the following work should be carried out.
        First, organize domestic key enterprises, scientific research institutes and universities to establish a joint R & D mechanism, vigorously support colleges and universities to cultivate blockchain professional and technical talents, and actively explore the integration point of blockchain technology and shipbuilding industry. Second, actively organize or deeply participate in the formulation of international standards and rules of blockchain technology, expand the leading force of standards, master a certain voice in the industry, and lead the integrated development of blockchain technology in new fields. Third, actively promote the pilot application of blockchain technology in shipbuilding and explore richer and deeper application scenarios. Promote the construction of a number of high-quality industry alliances and application chains, form an industry benchmark demonstration effect, and lead the high-quality development of China's shipbuilding industry.
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