Blockchain pioneer pulls out from liner booking system

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 01 October 2019


Hong Kong-based 300cubits has decided to suspend the operation of the Booking Deposit Module with immediate effect citing lack of interest from shipping lines and their customers.

The System started accepting trial shipments in March 2018 and was launched into live production in July 2018 with varying responses. In a statement issued on Monday, 300cubits said the positives are that the System has had participation from the largest shipping liners including Sealand of Maersk Group, CMA CGM, MSC and Cosco. More than a dozen shippers including Li&Fung Logistics, BASF, JF Hillebrand, Esprit, Mitsui Chemical and REWE have tried the System.

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In addition to those who have actually used the System, over 100 shippers have registered in the System to get their allocation of TEU tokens while many more shippers have contacted 300cubits and showed interest.

When using the System, both carriers and shippers were careful about their commitment. Nearly all except one shipment where booking deposits were placed were executed according to the booking.

However, the transaction volume through the System have been far from commercial. Only a couple of hundred containers have gone through the System which 300cubits said is not sufficient to keep the System going commercially.

The lack of clarity in regulatory regimes surrounding digital currencies has proved to be the greatest hurdle in the 300cubits’ marketing efforts. Many potential users simply shied away from trying, being not sure about what regulatory measures the authorities may take. A potential partnership with INTTRA, one of the largest shipment booking portals in the world, had to be stopped at the eleventh hour due to regulatory concerns.

From 300cubits’ experience, many of the core blockchain features such as immutability and anonymity are either not intuitive or unappealing to the business users.

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