Pilot to test blockchain integration to streamline trade

(l-r) Sanghun Lee, Samsung SDS; Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO; and Paul Smits, Port of Rotterdam Authority

ABN AMRO, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Samsung SDS, the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, have joined forces to launch a pilot project that will look to integrate physical, administrative and financial transactions within international distribution chains through the use of blockchain technology.

“Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits,” said Paul Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Chief Financial Officer.

“This results in inefficiency as many parties are involved and everything is organised via paper documentation. For instance, an average 28 parties are involved in container transport from China to Rotterdam. The transportation, monitoring and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.”

The development of the pilot was assigned to BlockLab, which was established by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and will involve management of the multi-modal transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands.

The pilot will commence in January next year, with the results expected to be announced in February 2019.

“Blockchain offers all parties in the logistics chain the opportunity to coordinate activities using validated data and without central management. Digitisation provides automation, which creates an ultra-efficient logistics chain,” said Sanghun Lee, President of Samsung SDS EU/CIS.

“What is particularly special about the project is that, for the first time in the rather short history of this technology, we can have different blockchains operating together. This takes place via an overarching ‘notary’ that connects entirely separate blockchains in Korea and the Netherlands.”

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About the Author

Rob O'Dwyer
Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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