Dutch Bank, Samsung SDS and BlockLab to Test Blockchain in New Shipping Port Partnership


The shipping business might just be one of the main industries that have been affected by the blockchain technology as a high number of ports all around the world are starting blockchain initiatives that will change the landscape of the industry. Rotterdam has the largest port by freight volume in the whole of Europe, which is located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Now, the largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam, has partnered with two major companies, the Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the IT subsidiary of Samsung, Samsung SDS, to test and create a blockchain focused on shipping.

According to the companies involved in the partnership, the initial trial of the service will be focused on shipping containers which will go from an unnamed factory in Asia to the port of Rotterdam. This experiment will initially involve only these three companies and will be completed in January 2018 but there are plans for adding new companies to the partnership later.

According to official information, the results of these first tests will be released in February 2019 and used to decide how the partnership will move forward (or not).

The infrastructure of the blockchain was developed by a Dutch company called BlockLab, which was established for the Port of Rotterdam Authority especially for blockchain initiatives. This partnership will also two other decentralized platforms, Samsung’s Nexledger, which was created in 2017, and Corda, a new open source blockchain which was created by E3, a blockchain consortium with powerful blockchain companies.

Paul Smits, the CFO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, has affirmed during the launch that the port currently has an infrastructure that involves 28 parties to trade with China. With the help of the blockchain technology, the CFO believes, transportation, monitoring and financing and these services will be easier to do and will allow the authority to cut costs and be more efficient.

The president of Samsung SDS has also spoken about the matter stating that this is important because different blockchain platforms would work together and this would connect blockchains that would be apart in a different scenario.

Mainly, Samsung’s Nextledger and E3’s Corda will be used together in an innovative way in which not a lot of other companies are doing right now using cross-chain technology, which is why the president of Samsung SDS believes in the novelty of the project.

According to the official press release of the Port of Rotterdam Authority about this new initiative, the final goal with the partnership is to be able to digitalize most of the system and thus make it more transparent at the same time that efficiency is heavily upgraded.

Also, the Authority of the port wants to create a complete paperless integration of the physical, administrative and financial systems that are being used at the port right now, which could finally take the whole process to the 21th Century.

As traditionally the process would involve a lot of paperwork, the partners involved in the project believe that they could achieve a way to integrate all the flows together and, with them combined and tracked, use the blockchain to store these processes giving all the parties access to what is happening in real time.

Other Blockchain Initiatives In Ports

As we have affirmed, many other ports in different parts of the world have been using the blockchain technology in order to actually test and implement blockchain businesses that can help in the infrastructure and logistics of their operations.

Some examples that we have seen so far are the Port of Valencia, which has one of the busiest ports in Spain and it is already creating and developing on the concept of “smart port”, a port that could have automated capacities and that would use the blockchain technology to simplify and streamline a lot of the shipping and tracking process.

Another example can be seen in the United Kingdom as the Associated British Ports (ABP) has started a pilot experiment with decentralized solutions that will automate some of the shipping process and Denmark, which was reported to do the same.

In Asia, China and Singapore are already starting initiatives that will use the blockchain technology in many cities for the same reasons that their Western counterparts do.

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