How does big data analytics benefit from blockchain technology in the shipping industry?

The benefits of blockchain technology in big data analytics for the shipping industry

The shipping industry is advancing to integrate newer trends and technologies to derive benefits. By combining technologies such as the twin technology, the benefits can be increased manifold times. Big data analytics and blockchain technology have joined hands to achieve greater efficiency in the shipping industry. Big data analytics benefit from blockchain technology by utilising complex sets of valuable data to make sense of it. The insights help identify and find solutions for various shipping industry sectors’ challenges and problems.

How is technology transforming the shipping industry?

The traditional method of shipping operations relied entirely on manual work where the labourers, technicians, engineers and other teams would coordinate. It was a time taking process and resulted in many challenges that could not be solved manually with enhanced efficiency or reliability. The loopholes in planning and completing shipping operations were a significant cause of cargo damage and fatal injuries. Technology began to be integrated and utilised to fill the gaps created by manual operations to carry out multiple shipping operations with greater efficiency and increased productivity. 

  • Technology is continuously advancing to meet the demands of the shipping industry and make shipping a better experience for shipping companies, shippers and consignees.
  • The introduction of AI, blockchain, big data analysis, twin technology, and IoT in the shipping industry has made it easier to step up the shipping processes and provide supply chain visibility, inventory management, logistics and transportation processes, and predictive maintenance and management. 
  • Most tasks are accomplished using automation technology in the shipping industry, leaving time for engineers and technicians to focus on other necessary tasks. 
  • The need for labourers is decreasing, thereby minimising the chances of human errors. The demand for skilled workers who can operate machines and new technology is increasing.

What is an example of blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology can be understood as a chain of blocks interlinked to one another through ‘hash’ codes. Whenever a new block is introduced, it gets added to the chain. These blocks are not stored on a single system or some central location and are instead decentralised, which means they can be accessed through numerous systems connected through the internet. All blocks in the blockchain store crucial data regarding assets or people. Years of data are stored and made available for data analytics. The shippers involved in the trade business are given authorised access to the blockchain but cannot edit any block or information stored in blocks. It can happen only through consensus of all the parties involved. So it becomes difficult for hackers to steal data and thus, reducing the chances of cybercrimes.

Uses of blockchain technology in the shipping industry

Data storage and sharing play a crucial role in the shipping industry. Shipping companies, stakeholders, consignees and other parties share and generate immense amounts of data during shipping. Different clearances are made, documentation including bill of lading, tracking the shipment status and making payments results in a lot of data per shipping. It is crucial to secure data from any breaches or theft, for which technology has evolved to facilitate shipping. Blockchain technology is a shared digital ledger that decentralises database storage to establish information security. In simple words, the advanced technology enables data storage and sharing in blocks linked to each other, forming a chain using ‘hash’ codes. The parties can access the inputted data through all systems involved in that trade business. It allows transparency in the information flows inside a business network.

Advantages of blockchain technology

Blockchain offers several benefits to make shipping operations more efficient and reliable. The significant advantages are- 

  1. Tracking assets– It maintains a record of every asset from the point that it enters the blockchain. The entire cycle of that asset in the supply chain is available to evaluate its value and profit margin. Further, the impact of blockchain also allows container tracking to track the shipment status in its journey from the manufacturer and shipping company to its destination. It helps offer supply chain visibility and transit transparency that helps minimise loss or damage to cargo.
  2. Making secure transactions– Using technology reduces the hectic paperwork and documentation process. Blockchain enables safer and legal transactions between concerned parties and prevents online fraud or theft risks. The data is secure; no one can change or hack it. A digital signature offers added reliability and security while completing transactions.
  3. Enhanced security– The data is stored in a block where each block is linked in a chain. The only way of changing any information fed in the blocks is through the consensus of all the concerned parties. If any data block is breached, the chain breaks and no one can access the other blocks due to the interlinking with ‘hash’ codes. It helps in preventing security breaches of the user’s personal information. Further, cryptography is used to encrypt data, prevent unauthorised access and minimise cybercrime.

What is an example of big data analytics?

Big data analytics helps collect and combine immense amounts of historical data from all across the internet by skimming through resources. The collected data is then processed by big data analytics for crucial insights. A range of wisdom can be drawn to get specifications about operational efficiency and inefficiency, potential failures, and new customer trends. The blockchain is a hub for credible data, but we must use effective technology to extract the most advantage from the information available. It also helps provide real-time data; therefore the insights are more precise and valuable.

Uses of big data analytics in the shipping industry 

The shipping industry performs several tasks to safely ship goods from one source to the other without hampering the quality of products. In the process, every shipping activity produces data stored for future use by the shipping companies, shippers and consignees. The importance of the stored data is to refer back to it in case of any necessity. The complex amount of data is collected and stored to be later accessed to filter insights to enhance shipping operations, tackle shipping challenges, and improve efficiency and productivity to boost the supply chain. Big data analytics uses diverse complex data sets through quality analysis to filter out desired insights that can help the shipping industry. It is crucial to combine the data of all the shipping processes to get helpful insights that can be useful in offering solutions.

Big data analytics life cycle

Advantages of big data analytics

Big data analytics is vital in comprehending the loopholes, addressing challenges and finding solutions. The process of sieving a plethora of big data sets to find some valuable results helps the shipping industry in various ways-

  1. Predictive maintenance– The shipping industry utilises equipment, machines, and vehicles that can break down abruptly if not checked for timely repairs and maintenance. One way of doing it is manually, but it is not very effective. Predictive maintenance is performed by analysing the data sets to forecast if equipment or machines are doomed to fail. It helps in saving money, time and minimising supply chain disruptions.
  2. Improvement based on feedback– Customer feedback and complaints data are registered and stored in systems. This data is then left for analysis using big data to scan the historical records and see possible loopholes or challenges in reaching maximum efficiency in shipping operations. It allows companies and management systems to improvise and provide better customer satisfaction.
  3. Business insights– Sometimes, the shipping business blooms and the profit margins are high, while at times, it may not be the same. Shipping businesses filter insights to find causes of loss to tackle the inefficiencies of the failure to achieve productivity and profitability. It helps them adopt newer trends and strategies and offer better customer experiences.

How does big data analytics benefit from blockchain technology?

The track record of assets, shipping companies, and shippers are all fed in the form of blocks throughout their life in the supply chain. The information blocks can be accessed by allowance into the chain to refer to the details, figures and statistics. The stored information acts as food for big data analytics. Management systems, shippers, or shipping companies can send these sets of stored data through the filters of big data analytics to generate relevant insights and information. The filtered insights are valuable as- 

  • Shippers can access the records to filter which shipping company has a track record of delivering better services.
  • Shipping companies can invest in better resources by analysing the performance of equipment, machines and vehicles.
  • Consignees can look for trusted exporters to book trade deals at affordable prices for high-quality goods.
  • Both of these technologies, when combined, play a significant role in minimising the chances of data manipulation.

Benefits of using Big data Analytics in blockchain

  1. Authentic datasets– Data from external sources can be duplicated and prone to cyber threats. Data from blockchain technology is accurate, reliable, extensive, detailed and secure; therefore, big data analytics can easily pick up large quantities of big data from blockchain sources to filter insights.
  2. Diverse sharing of data– The newly filtered insights are again stored in blocks so that any needed authority can access them. Multiple people can share and access real-time information at the same time. It helps other data scientists and analysts build more details on the already filtered data.
  3. Real-time data analysis– Every transaction and asset is tracked to fill the blocks with real-time data that data analysts can efficiently utilise to provide accurate insights. Since the analysis is based on recent data, it becomes more authentic and significantly improves decision-making processes.
  4. Data prediction– The data stored or accessed in blockchain also collects information from the footprints of users’ profiles and devices. Therefore, it also helps in analysing customers and businesses. Data analysis allows companies to formulate marketing strategies, business investments, and future manufacturing and production.

These are a few ways big data analytics benefit from blockchain technology and offer enhanced traceability, reliability and security for transactions and business development.

LOTUS Containers uses cutting-edge technology to offer reliable and secure shipping container services. As a prominent marketer of shipping containers, we offer container leasing and buying anywhere globally.

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