Bahrain-based tech startup MVC Global and logistics firm Cox Logistics Group will jointly launch a so-called SmartHub logistics warehouse to improve the distribution of pharmaceuticals across the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The blockchain logistics warehouse platform will provide built-in Track & Trace and IoT sensors and a smart contracts-based SmartPass feature geared to ensure compliance with customs clearances, Gulf Today reported on April 27. Additionally, users can deploy the platform for supply chain finance and international payments settlements.

The developers claim that the SmartHub is able to speed up and improve both cold and non-cold storage distribution of food products and medical supplies in the region, and significantly cut the time spent on paperwork, administration and bureaucracy.

In a bid to make Bahrain a fintech hub

Husain Rajab, chief investment officer at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said, “the project aims to build on Bahrain’s world-class digital infrastructure, which would enable the Kingdom to become a major regional logistics hub.”

This comes in line with the EDB’s program to attract more fintech startups to the country that launched last November. At the time, the EDB said, “The Kingdom's pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies — such as open banking and cryptocurrencies — in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot.”

Companies around the word deploy blockchain in supply chains

In the meantime, blockchain has been gaining popularity in the supply chain sector, with the world’s leading companies applying the tech to improve their internal processes. Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Cos, the luxury subsidiary of the fast-fashion brand H&M, have partnered with a blockchain platform, VeChain, to provide detailed supply chain tracing data to customers.

Last month, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and blockchain startup BloomBloc developed a blockchain app that enables users to trace palm oil throughout the entire supply chain. The system registers each tree and its associated information.