Boats on the Blockchain: Rotterdam and Samsung Team Up for Shipping Partnership

  • In a press release announced today, the Port of Rotterdam (Amsterdam) and Samsung disclose the official launch of a pilot program to test a blockchain based shipping system.
  • Officials from both groups hope to use this to decrease transaction friction and facilitate smoother logistics.

Today (October 22, 2018) the Port of Rotterdam (Amsterdam) announced that they will be partnering with tech giant Samsung and Dutch bank ABN AMRO to test a blockchain-based logistics program. ABN AMRO is the third largest bank in the Netherlands, and has signed an agreement with Samsung to facilitate this test. As reported by CryptoGlobe, Samsung has been researching this process for months, and now they’ve found a subject to test it on.

“The transportation, monitoring and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.”

Paul Smits, Chief Financial Officer, Port of Rotterdam Authority

Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, hopes that a blockchain solution will decrease friction in their logistics workflow.

Currently, a shipment to China requires the communication between 28 parties, and building concensus across those groups is not easy. Samsung explains: “it will simplify the financial transactions such as confirmation of receipt and payment, real-time sharing of documents related to receipt and entry.”

Samsung SDS, Samsung’s IT group, will employ their proprietary blockchain (Nexledger). This chain will be connected with ABN AMRO’s own blockchain, Corda, in order to utilize cross-chain interoperability across platforms. The Port of Rotterdam will become the first user of this system, in a prototype launching in January 2019. Although development has already been underway, this pilot program will be used “to verify compatibility between different platforms” before expanding its use. The infrastructure for this project was created by Blocklab, a Netherlands-based blockchain logistics company.

Blockchain and Shipping

Over the past year, Nexledger has been working behind the scenes with private entities, governments, and research institutes to develop a product that can be used by shipping giants such as Rotterdam. Shipping has long been seen as an industry that could be improved by applying blockchain technology, and these new projects will undoubtedly put the theory to the test.

You can learn more by reading the press releases from Samsung here and the Port of Rotterdam here.