Abu Dhabi Ports Partners with Belgian Port in International Trade Blockchain Pilot

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Abu Dhabi Ports has partnered up with its counterpart in the Belgian city of Antwerp to launch a new blockchain trial, one of a number of similar blockchain developments around international trade.

The project is being led by a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, Maqta Gateway. The proof-of-concept will be powered by Maqta’s Silsal platform and will examine ways of removing inefficiencies around international shipping between the respective ports.

According to the media release announcing the project, the pilot will provide assistance to importers and exporters in processing trade documentation between Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, as well as “providing full cargo visibility and streamlining trade flows and supply chains.”

Abu Dhabi Ports CEO Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said the trial was the first of its kind between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the world.

“This is an important moment for us as we prepare to implement the first applied blockchain solution of its kind between Abu Dhabi and the world. Our technology experts at Maqta Gateway are working with world-class international partners, such as the Port of Antwerp, to deliver fast, reliable and secure trade transactions through rigorous development and testing programs.”

With blockchain providing an instant, permanent and secure digital ledger, the technology is ideally suited to digitizing supply chains. The Abu Dhabi pilot is one of a number of similar innovations around transport, shipping and logistics – sectors that are already feeling these benefits.

Last month, international logistics giants FedEx became the latest member of the Hyperledger consortium, an open-source blockchain development project that counts some of the world’s largest companies among its members.

At the time, FedEx said its membership would allow it to explore the possibilities afforded by blockchain within the business, as well as furthering the technology for the benefit of the wider sector.

In August, shipping conglomerate Maersk announced a new blockchain partnership with IBM, with as many as 94 corporate members signed up to participate in their trials. Their blockchain platform, known as TradeLens, aims to digitize the supply chain across logistics industries.