On December 16, the Jordan Customs Department announced a pilot of the TradeLens blockchain supply chain platform. The solution is a joint initiative from IBM and Maersk. Under the agreement, a pilot zone will be set up in the Aqaba Customs Center to transport goods through the Aqaba Container Terminal using the TradeLens platform.
The customs department aims to leverage the blockchain solution to simplify the exchange of goods, automate documentation and increase co-operation and communication between counterparties. Abdul Majeed Al-Rahmanah, Director General of Customs, said that the department had adopted several development projects to boost trade in the country and reduce smuggling and fraud in international trade.
“TradeLens will help bring further visibility, predictability and security to Jordan National Single Window and will be a real asset for trade and transport facilitation, making Jordan the preferred logistics and transport gateway into the Levant,” said Steven Yoogalingam, CEO of Aqaba Container Terminal.
Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) is Jordan’s only container port and is operated by Aqaba Development Corporation and APM Terminals. Maersk owns APM Terminals which is also a TradeLens member.
TradeLens is trying to digitize the shipping industry to enable transparency. The platform integrates IoT devices to monitor temperature, weight and location of containers. The platform boasts of five out of the top six ocean carriers as members — Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE), MSC and CMA-CGM. Another big carrier is Israel’s Zim which joined TradeLens in early 2019.
“Bringing the benefits of digitized supply chain documentation and integrating data with government agencies, logistics providers, shippers, terminal operators, and carriers is essential to the TradeLens vision for a more connected global supply chain,”’ said Mike White, CEO of Maersk GTD and Head of TradeLens
Among other initiatives in the Middle East, the Saudi Customs ran a pilot on the platform for a shipment from Saudi Arabia to Rotterdam. It joined TradeLens in January 2019.
A few months ago the Thailand Customs Department signed up for TradeLens.
Meanwhile, Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is another blockchain consortium in the sector, which includes five of the largest ten container carriers.