Business & Finance

CBS and DHS Uniting to Test Blockchain Based Shipment Tracking System

The market for blockchain application has seen a massive growth. The organizations in the private as well as the government sector are getting eager to incorporate this technology into their businesses. The recent development has been that the Customs and the Border protection is going to merge two distinct systems and begin the testing phase. The applications to be merged are the company’s own application and a blockchain based platform that was developed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The company will initiate a live-fire testing of blockchain to verify the records of goods being traded. The plan is to analyze the distributed ledger technology and assess its working with verifying free trade agreements. Vincent Annunziato, director of CBP’s Transformation & Innovation Division, informed about this operation to the press saying,

Our operators are able to look at those [records] supplied through the new system and the system of record and see the differences.

The incorporation of a blockchain based platform will allow the system to be decentralized, so the data doesn’t need to be repeatedly verified at every stop. The goal of this project is to streamline the communications so that everyone is on the same page. Vincent also told the press,

 If the data is supplied upfront, the operators don’t have to go out ask for the data again.

He also mentioned that a blockchain based system would help ensure that the shipments coming from a particular place are legitimate or not. This includes the details of its source as well its destination. The process of testing the blockchain application is on going, however, once the testing phase is complete, the work on the assessment of the work with trade partners will begin.

Once we prove it out, we have to tell the agency [leadership] what we recommend, and it is the agency’s decision on how to move forward, this is just initial testing to determine if it works and if blockchain is useful.

A private blockchain has been set up in which the users can view whoever is being awarded a NAFTA or CAFTA certificate. But they do not mention what kind of clientele the company holds.

The point that is most stressed upon in this testing phase is that the various systems used by users should have a similar structure so that they can promote interoperability on the network. The company is trying to create a system that will allow all to communicate with customs department without using any kind of specialized nodes. In this way, each system doesn’t have to be customized to sync up with the other. The director also stressed on how important it was to keep the network secure, however, for now their priority is to set up a system that will promote easy communication between the blockchain platforms.

Even though blockchain has the ability to downright transform our supply chain management system, but still there is an absence of a system that might allow transparent tracking of passenger to shipping containers. It has also previously been rendered that one of the challenges is encouraging blockchain frameworks that support common standards, according to Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate. On 8th of May, during the hearing of two subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, S&T Cyber Security Division Director Douglas Maughan said,

Private industry is leading the way with blockchain development as many see it as a key advantage. Government must be informed and ensure blockchain technology supports standardized approaches for security, privacy and data exchange to create efficiencies and enhance the public good.

To conclude, it would suffice to say that the implementation of a fraud free system has been made possible through the wondrous technology; blockchain. The homeland security has been eager to adapt it in various other projects to keep track on goods and people crossing the border and they hope to aid this cause with the use of blockchain.

Hassaan Malik

Co-founder of BlockPublisher, Hassaan is a technologist at heart with a keen interest in blockchain, cryptos and traditional financial markets. Email:,

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