Mexico’s Tecnológico de Monterrey, a private university, has announced a partnership with Grupo CICE and Hutchison Ports Mexico to run a blockchain pilot in the Port of Veracruz. It is one of the largest ports in Mexico with nearly a million containers handled during 2016.
Blockchain has been adopted by several ports across the world to increase transparency and efficiency of operations. Use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for port operations in Mexico may help to deal with growth. In Mexico, imports have risen by 5.9 % in the first six months of 2019. That’s up on the 2018 growth of 3.4 %, according to figures from the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.
The university will support the blockchain initiative at Veracruz port by providing researchers and consultants. “Tecnológico de Monterrey’s national digital transformation initiative seeks to involve industry and academia in designing solutions to the challenges of the new digital economy, thereby transmitting value to society through its faculty, students and alumni,” said Dr Igor Rivera, director of the Master in Finance at EGADE Business School and leader of the project.
“Traceability across operating and cargo transfer activities is an advantage offered by blockchain technology since every event and transaction will be recorded in a single place and visible to everyone. Precise, real-time monitoring will translate into efficiency and, above all, an increase in the level of customer service,” said Genaro Méndez, Technology Director at Grupo CICE.
This is the second blockchain trial for Hutchison Ports at Veracruz Port. Last year, for the same port it ran tests with Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and blockchain startup dexFreight.
Hutchison Ports is also a participant in the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a blockchain consortium that boasts shippers COSCO, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and COSCO owned OOCL. In terms of ports, apart from Hutchison, GSBN has signed up COSCO SHIPPING Ports, OOCL, Port of Qingdao, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group.
Like Hutchison, port operator PSA International is participating in multiple blockchain projects and is also involved in GBSN competitor TradeLens, from IBM and Maersk. TradeLens has more than a dozen ports as members including the Port of Halifax, Russia’s St Petersburg and the Port of Rotterdam.
In terms of ports around the world, the Port of Rotterdam was one of the earliest to adopt blockchain. Two months ago, Dutch bank ABN AMRO announced that it has successfully completed a Proof of Concept with the Dutch port in collaboration with Samsung SDS.