Europe’s largest port has partnered with major technology corporation Samsung and Dutch bank ABN AMRO to establish a blockchain shipping network.

The collaboration comes from the IT and technology division of Samsung — Samsung SDS, with the trial currently limited to shipping containers from Asia to the Port of Rotterdam.

A press release from Samsung SDS details that the project will link the tech company’s and ABN AMRO’s blockchain platforms Nexledger and Corda to complete the relevant financial transactions, claiming to simplify multiple processes including processing receipt confirmations and sharing documents in real time.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Paul Smits says that right now the logistics shipping infrastructure from the port involves around 28 parties which organize via paper documents, with the blockchain implementation expected to reduce the amount of time spent on shipments, streamlining communication methods by digitalising them.

In the port’s own press release, Smits commented on his hopes of simplifying the process for companies: ”The transportation, monitoring, and financing of freight and services should be just as easy as ordering a book online.”

Sanghun Lee, President of Samsung SDS praised the trial as the first time two separate blockchains have operated together, explaining the process: ”This takes place via an overarching ‘notary’ that connects entirely separate blockchains in Korea and the Netherlands”

Starting in January 2019, it will initially be offered solely to the aforementioned parties although should it be successful, the Dutch port will consider offering the blockchain services to other companies.

The Port of Rotterdam says it will release results of the project in February 2019 so other parties may consider joining the blockchain shipping network if it proves to be a success.

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