News Supply chain

Samsung, Rotterdam port, ABN AMRO partner for trade blockchain

container ship

On Friday the Port of Rotterdam announced a collaboration with ABN Amro bank and Samsung SDS for a container logistics blockchain pilot. The Port is one of the earliest to get involved in blockchain projects and has a subsidiary BlockLab which will develop the pilot.

Paul Smits, the Port’s CFO believes that shipping logistics should be as simple as retail ecommerce. “Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits”, he explained. “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.”

Rotterdam is participating in multiple blockchain projects including the IBM/Maersk TradeLens initiative. Likewise, PSA which owns the Singapore Port, has an ownership interest in the Open Trade Blockchain as well as partnering with Tradelens.

The Rotterdam project involves integrating two technologies, R3’s Corda used by ABN Amro, and Nexledger which is Samsung SDS’s proprietary platform. Last month Samsung announced it was building the Korean Customs Service platform which involves 48 government offices and companies.

Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO CEO Commercial Banking, elaborated on the Rotterdam project: “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. The ultimate goal is to reach an open, independent and global platform that operates from the perspective of shippers. This will make the logistics chain more transparent and efficient, and millions of euros can be saved in the long term.”

A pilot is planned for January next year, with results to be announced in February. The group then plan to involve other international organizations and shippers and integrate with other blockchain platforms.