Antwerp Port and Singapore Port have started piloting a blockchain solution that will give truckers, shippers and other parties greater security when co-ordinating a container’s release.
Dutch logistics start-up T-Mining is currently testing a solution using the distributed, encrypting technology blockchain.
It aims to use the solution to simplify the paperwork and messaging involved in the logistics transactions of carriers, terminals, forwarders, hauliers, drivers, and shippers.
This will ultimately lower administration costs for manual corrections, as blockchain creates instant consensus on data using a “common platform for all stakeholders involved in container transport,” a spokesperson for the company told PTI.
Mediterranean Shipping Company, which owns the tested ships and containers, as well as the Port of Singapore Authority, which operates a terminal are participating in the pilot.
Selected companies participating in the tests also include an unnamed forwarder and a transporter, in the aim to commercialise the product by the end of 2017.
Moving a container frequently involves more than 30 different parties, on average interacting 200 times by e-mail, phone and fax.
Paperwork accounts for up to half of the cost of container transport, the Port said.
A PIN code is currently used to identify a truck driver or shipper collecting a container from the ports’ container terminal.
But the PIN code is sent to a number of different parties, presenting the risk that someone will abuse it.
T-Mining's blockchain platform gives the right truck driver clearance to collect a particular container, without the clearance code being intercepted.
As an unalterable ledger, blockchain will also verify authorizations of all the required parties for container release, limiting attempts at fraud or manipulation.
The City of Antwerp also has assisted T-Mining by providing an office in Singapore from which to try to introduce the solution there
Nico Wauters, CEO of T-Mining said: “Currently, when we want to transfer a valuable object we generally make use of a trusted intermediary to carry out the transfer.
“For instance, when you want to sell a house the notary not only carries out all the paperwork but also ensures that the money lands safely in your bank account while the buyer receives full title to the property, without any unpleasant surprises for either party.
“But this intermediary naturally does not work for free, and furthermore the additional step causes extra delay.”