Blockchain-connector first for Rotterdam

Industry Database

Rotterdam has partnered with ABN AMRO and Samsung SDS to kick-start a container logistics blockchain pilot.

The pilot aims to create a “complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains”.

The consortium is working to the mantra that the transportation, monitoring and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.

“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.”

He explained that an average of 28 parties are involved in one container transport move from China to Rotterdam.

Sanghun Lee, president of Samsung SDS EU/CIS, said that this project is particularly special because it will, for the first time, connect different blockchains operating together. It will do this via an overarching ‘notary’ that connects entirely separate blockchains in Korea and the Netherlands.

BlockLab, which was established by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, will run the pilot to oversee the multi-modal transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands. Once proven, the pilot will be opened up to other parties to join.

The pilot starts in January next year, and the results will be announced in February 2019.

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