Son on his research
This PhD sees Son investigating the operational risks in transporting containers upon the adoption of blockchain technology.
His research background is operational risks in maritime logistics. New technologies and their applications interest him, and blockchain is a fascinating technology that can improve container shipping. However, it is still a developing technology, and the adoption to date has been slow.
“One cause of this hesitation is the unknown operational risks in using this new technology. My research is addressing this unknown. A better understanding of the novel risks may support the uptake and confidence in these new maritime logistics technologies,” said Son.
In this workhe wilI identify scenarios of potential disruptions related to data and information, and analyse their criticality and uncertainty in causing subsequent events in operations of actual transports of shipments/containers, and payment procedures. He is working with experts from terminal operators, shipping companies, and freight forwarders in Australia to prioritise risks and their scenarios to provide a basis for risk mitigation and prevention strategies.
This project is the first to analyse container shipping operational risks with the presence of blockchain applications. It fills the knowledge gaps of information risks in maritime logistics and their potential impacts.
This study proposes and validates a comprehensive framework to take multi-event risk scenarios into risk assessments. It also provides a comprehensive view of the potential failure modes of blockchain-integrated systems, confirming operational risk as an adoption barrier to the container shipping industry.
The risk network and quantitative analysis models could be used in risk management activities such as screening blockchain applications, developing risk management plans, and assessing and monitoring operational risks. The results indicate that Information operations will play a more prominent role in the future with the adoption of blockchain applications, with a need to focus on data availability, integrity, and security.
Reflections on his PhD
This PhD is just the beginning of many possibilities. The work to date has seen Son acquire various necessary skills to conduct research, including programming, analysis, and results communication and networking with potential industry participants.
Son thinks optimisation of resource usage and positive thinking are the keys to a successful, and enjoyable, PhD. Working excessively could negatively affect not only yourself, but also friends, family, supervisors, and the project itself. Enjoying the research and finding quality time for other activities requires great courage, determination, and discipline.
He wants to apply his skills, developed frameworks, methods, and models to specific risk situations. These empirical cases will help validate and improve my theoretical works. Son wants to expand his research area into new technologies, including machine learning, and how to apply them to specific use cases.
After my PhD thesis then Son wants to be a lecturer and a researcher. But before that, he intends to continue to gather more knowledge and experience from different countries/institutions/companies. He wants to live and work in environments that value rational and critical thinking, freedom, and diversity.
A poster for Son’s PhD project, made for display at the 2022 ITS Australia awards.
A word from PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Peggy Shu-Ling Chen
Why is this PhD important to investigate?
Emerging disruptive technologies such as blockchain have been gradually applied to maritime transport. The adoption of technology may bring benefits that offset existing operational risks; however, new risks may emerge that could complicate the operation. This PhD research is timely and important to enhance current knowledge in this area for the container shipping industry and guide for further research.
What are the major challenges to overcome in the field?
Blockchain adoption in the container shipping industry is currently low. The major challenges in this field could be the concerns of investment cost and risks that require strategies to deal with. The risks may arise from infrastructure and network setting, and cybersecurity issue. In addition, trust between supply chain partners and uncertain on the benefits may be challenges.
Where might this work lead in the (near and far) future?
The outcomes of this work are based on industry perspective so this work can help businesses in the industry have a good understanding of risks associated with blockchain technology and plan for adoption with prediction. Further research based on this study can be focused on risk management strategies that can overcome the risks to build the confidence of adopting such technology.
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Blockchain adoption in container shipping: Challenges and adaptive strategies. Australian Maritime Logistics Research Network (AMLRN) Annual Symposium 2020. Dec 10, 2020