On August 28, 2017, Tokyo-based shipping company Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced that it will join the "Consortium to develop trade data sharing platform using blockchain technology" spearheaded by Ethereum blockchain-based AI research firm NTT DATA Corporation
MOL noted that current practices rely on burdensome documentation, which cause time delays, requires additional labor, and incurs additional costs. It joined the consortium in order to research and develop blockchain technology to better manage the flow of information for trade related procedures among logistic partners across industries.
As the latest member of the consortium, MOL joins with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Ltd., Mizuho Financial Group, Inc./Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Nippon Express Company, Ltd., NYK Line, Sojitz Corporation, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
When it officially launches on August 30, 2017, the consortium will conduct research on trade procedures to integrate blockchain technology throughout banking, insurance, import/export, and logistics industries spanning across national boundaries.