On January 14, it was reported that Zim — which is Israel's biggest cargo shipping firm — had initiated a blockchain-based platform that lets the company's customers create electronic bills of lading for certain types of trade. For more than a year, Zim has been conducting a pilot program for the platform, and because of the success of it they are ready to go live. The company believes that the platform can replace existing paper processes. They also think that it can improve the company's workflow, which has made use of faxes, emails and other means. Recently, two transactions were completed on the platform within a few hours, with the final result being that the platform delivered electronic bills of lading to customers. Normally, it would take days or even weeks to complete these transactions. While the platform is open to all of Zim's customers throughout the world, the company says that — during the first quarter of the year — their focus will be on customers residing in Asia, South Africa, North America and the Mediterranean region. Currently, Zim is the 11th biggest container operator in the world, based on the amount of freight it transports in a year. Eyal Ben-Amram, who is the company's chief information officer, says that it has been part of the company's overall strategy to maximize its ability to digitize information. Zim is not the first shipping company to make use of blockchain technology. Last year, Abu Dhabi Ports — which is a subsidiary of a large United Arab Emirates (UAE) port operator — initiated their own blockchain pilot. This pilot has been taking place in the Belgian port of Antwerp and provides cargo monitoring as well as helps improve supply chains and trade flow between Belgium and the UAE. Also, last September, Associated British Ports — which is a large U.K. port operator — announced that they were developing a blockchain-based system related to port logistics that they hope will lead to a reduction in managing manual data. They are developing the system with Marine Transport International, which is a digital logistics company.