The Port of Rotterdam Authority recently announced they were working in conjunction with the Dutch Business Bank ABN AMRO and the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, Samsung SDS to launch a pilot based on blockchain technology. The aim of this new collaboration is to create a paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains.
Chief Financial Officer for the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Paul Smits explains, “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.”
ABN AMRO CEO for Commercial Banking, Daphne de Kluis said, “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.”
Samsung SDS EU/CIS President, Sanghun Lee added, “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. Digitisation provides automation, which creates an ultra-efficient logistics chain. 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.”
Initially, the pilot will be implemented by the three companies who devised the project, afterwards the cooperative network will then become open for other companies to join. The pilot is set to begin in January 2019 with the results being released the following month.