Belgium’s Antwerp port has engaged technology firm T-Mining to work on a pilot project using blockchain technology to make container handling at the port more efficient and secure.
Using blockchain technology, processes that involve several parties – carriers, terminals, forwarders, hauliers, drivers, shippers – are securely digitised without any central middleman being involved.
To move a container from one location to another, for instance, involves more than 30 different parties with an average of 200 interactions among them, according to Antwerp Port Authority. Given that many of these interactions are carried out by e-mail, phone and even by fax, paperwork accounts for up to half of the cost of container transport.
“We aim to do something about this,” said Nico Wauters, ceo of Antwerp start-up firm T-Mining.
Wauters said the use of blockchain technology can offer a safer and faster transfer of valuable objects, fully digitalised and without a middleman, making it highly suitable for handling the vast number of container movements at the port.
“With our blockchain platform the right truck driver is given clearance to collect a particular container, without any possibility of the process being intercepted. Furthermore our blockchain platform uses a distributed network, so that the transaction can go ahead only if there is consensus among all participating parties, thus excluding any attempts at fraud or undesired manipulations,” Wauters said.
A pilot project is currently running in the port of Antwerp with a limited number of parties.
“We want to test whether it all works smoothly in practice,” said Wauters. “Together with PSA, MSC, a forwarder and a transporter, we ensure secure handling of the first containers on our blockchain platform.”
Wauters added that T-Mining also has an office in Singapore to introduce its solution
“Our ambition is to serve the first paying customers by the end of this year,” he said.