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Port of Rotterdam, MSC, CMA CGM to pilot blockchain tokens for container release

Port of Rotterdam container ship CMA CGM

The Port of Rotterdam announced it is piloting blockchain tokens for driver authentication during the container unloading process along with CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, ONE, and a few others. 

Currently, the Rotterdam port uses a PIN code to authorize transport drivers collecting the container on behalf of the freight forwarder. However, this process is not foolproof as the PIN code is transmitted through numerous parties, from the shipping company to the freight forwarder to the transport company, increasing the risk of fraud. Additionally, errors in the PIN-based authorization may lead to delays and complaints. 

Antwerp-based T-Mining is developing the blockchain application that would issue digital tokens representing the pick-up rights of the container. Transport drivers would be given clearance to collect the cargo after transferring the digital token at the terminal. Each token is unique to the container, and blockchain ensures that the authorization cannot be copied or tampered with. 

“By taking advantage of new technologies, we can make our port operations smarter, swifter, more efficient and safer,” said Emile 

Hoogsteden, Director of Commerce of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “During this project, the different participants will be using a blockchain application that enables them to safely and efficiently organise the release procedure followed by the various parties in the chain.”

Using blockchain, terminal operators can be sure that the container was released to the correct driver. The token does not reveal any information about previous transactions preventing third parties from accessing confidential information. 

The pilot will run for three months. The full list of participants includes — shippers CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, ONE-Line, terminal operator Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam, logistics firms Rotterdam Fruit Wharf, Milestone Fresh, VTO, Portmade, and T-Mining.

T-Mining previously trialed a similar solution at the Port of Antwerp. It is also working on a blockchain application for document and certificates transfer

Meanwhile, the Rotterdam port has several other blockchain interests. It is working with S&P and Global Platts on a decentralized energy grid project. 

Last year, it ran the DELIVER project with ABN AMRO and Samsung SDS for shipping documentation. Rotterdam is also part of IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens initiative. 


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