Aim is to bring transparency and ease to freight transport
ABN AMRO, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Samsung SDS, the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, have joined forces to launch a pilot based on block chain technology.
The ultimate goal is for a complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains.
Explains Paul Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Chief Financial Officer: “Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits.
“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.
The pilot involves the multi-modal transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands.
In the first instance, the pilot will be implemented by the three parties, but the cooperative network will then become open for other parties to join.
The pilot starts in January next year, and the results will be announced in February 2019.
Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO CEO Commercial Banking: ‘We will be integrating all these flows in our pilot: from workflow management combined with track & trace to the digitisation of paper documentation such as waybills and the financing of handled freight or services.”
Added Sanghun Lee, President of Samsung SDS EU/CIS: “We will be using blockchain technology to create this. Blockchain offers all parties in the logistics chain the opportunity to coordinate activities using validated data and without central management.
“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.”