UK Port Operator ABP To Examine Blockchain For Port Connectivity

News | September 20, 2018 By:

Associated British Ports (ABP) has teamed with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International (MTI) to examine the implementation of blockchain technology to improve port connectivity.

ABP owns and operates 21 ports in the United Kingdom, managing around 25 percent of the UK’s sea-borne trade. The company’s activities cover transport, haulage and terminal operations, ship’s agency, dredging and marine consultancy.

MTI specializes in moving cargo around the world, bringing technology and logistics together. The company recently completed a successful pilot of a supply chain automation solution that runs on blockchain. The solution enables multiple parties in global trade — including supplier, shipper and customs authorities — to access real-time data about a shipment.

As part of the agreement, ABP will commit to participating in MTI’s blockchain solution in pilot shipments.

“We handle almost 100 million tons of cargo across all sectors every year so we are a significant gateway for our customers’ supply chains,” said Jens Skibsted Nielsen, Commercial Director at ABP. “This MOU with MTI is a demonstration of our commitment to technical innovation and finding new ways to improve the UK’s supply chains.”

Currently, every member in a supply chain, from shipper to haulier and from port operator to carrier, uses different systems to track shipments. MTI claims that its technology could offer a way to securely link these disparate ways of working and could bridge the silos to reduce time spent on manually re-entering data, ensuring a single version of the truth.

“Blockchain-enabled technology has the potential to provide a transparent, secure and accurate way of capturing and sharing data with key parties, but for MTI the critical part is interoperability – it has to be able to openly connect with existing systems,” said Jody Cleworth, founder and CEO of MTI. “The logistics industry is awash with proprietary technology that forces users to work in a certain way – with blockchain, we can connect all those systems to ensure data is accurately and quickly shared, helping speed-up and simplify the flow of trade in and out of the UK.”