The ultimate goal is for a complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains.
“Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits,” said Paul Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s chief financial officer. “This results in inefficiency as many parties are involved and everything is organized via paper documentation.
“For instance, an average 28 parties are involved in container transport from China to Rotterdam,” Smits said. “The transportation, monitoring and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.”
Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO CEO of commercial banking, said, “We will be integrating all these flows in our pilot: from workflow management combined with track and trace to the digitization 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,” de Kluis said. “This will make the logistics chain more transparent and efficient, and millions of euros can be saved in the long term.”
Sanghun Lee, president of Samsung SDS EU/CIS, explained, “Blockchain offers all parties in the logistics chain the opportunity to coordinate activities using validated data and without central management. Digitization 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.”
The pilot will involve the multimodal transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands. In the first instance, the pilot will be implemented by the three parties, but the cooperative network will then become open to other parties to join.