T-Mining is currently working on a pilot project that will make container handling in the port of Antwerp more efficient and secure. Using blockchain technology, processes that involve several parties – carriers, terminals, forwarders, hauliers, drivers, shippers etc. – are securely digitised without any central middleman being involved.
Just getting a container from point A to point B frequently involves more than 30 different parties, with an average of 200 interactions between them. Given that many of these interactions are carried out by e-mail, phone and even (still, nowadays) by fax, paperwork accounts for up to half of the cost of container transport.
As explained, when a container arrives in the port it is collected from the terminal by a truck driver or shipper. To ensure that the right person picks up the right container, a PIN code is used. However, the PIN code is transmitted via a number of parties, which of course is not without risk. Somebody with bad intentions can simply copy the PIN code, which naturally can cause great problems.
The blockchain solution overcomes these issues, permitting safer and faster transfer of valuable objects, fully digitally and without a middleman.
“With our blockchain platform the right truck driver is given clearance to collect a particular container, without any possibility of the process being intercepted. Furthermore our blockchain platform uses a distributed network, so that the transaction can go ahead only if there is consensus among all participating parties, thus excluding any attempts at fraud or undesired manipulations”, says Nico Wauters, CEO of T-Mining.
The pilot project that is currently running in the port of Antwerp, with PSA, MSC, a forwarder and a transporter, aims to test whether all these work smoothly in practice, to ensure secure handling of the first containers on the blockchain platform.