Maritime Shipping Looks to a Decentralized Future

Maritime shipping took a significant leap towards a decentralized future after Samsung SDS, Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the Port of Rotterdam jointly conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands.  According to a report by the Maritime Executive early this month, the triad of companies tracked a container exclusively using an interoperable blockchain platform.  

Port of Rotterdam CFO, Paul Smiths, outlines how the ultimate objective is an open, independent and global cargo shipping platform. “Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits,” says Paul Smits, CFO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “This results in inefficiency, as many parties are involved, and everything is organized via paper documentation. For instance, an average of 28 parties are involved in container transport from China to Rotterdam.” 

The container was tracked using Samsung SDS’s blockchain platform “DELIVER” that was developed alongside the Port of Rotterdam Authority and ABN AMRO Bank. It provided end-to-end visibility for multi-modal cargo transport via ocean carrier, truck and inland barge. Deliver also connects several types of platforms and supports several functions such as document notarization, double payment prevention, and asset transfers.  

Samsung Manager, Han Seung-Yeop commented saying “The Customs Clearance Blockchain System at the Korea Customs Service is based on Hyperledger Fabric, while Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands is using the Ethereum Platform, we started the Deliver project to connect different platforms.” 

Following successful testing of the DELIVER platform, the triad of companies have moved forward and signed an extended collaboration agreement for the next phase of the DELIVER project. The vision for the next phase of the platform is to “conduct pilot projects with multiple shippers from various industries operating in different trade lanes


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