UPDATED | October 17, 2018:
Abu Dhabi Ports' Silsal blockchain project will undergo an international proof-of-concept test with the Port of Antwerp, according to an October 15 article in the global shipping news outlet the Hellenic Shipping News.
According to the article, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Maqta Gateway (an Abu Dhabi Ports subsidiary) and the Port of Antwerp to test Silsal's ability to "exchange, identify and acknowledge cargo documents and certificates between Abu Dhabi Ports and the Port of Antwerp."
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said:
"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 ... We will continue to work towards using blockchain and other technologies further across all trade transactions in Abu Dhabi, driven by the long-term vision and direction of the nation's leadership to deliver constant innovation in order to help transform the Emirate's trade and logistics sectors."
ORIGINAL | June 5, 2018:
In yet another bid to use blockchain technology to better serve the shipping and logistics industry, Maqta Gateway, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, announced the launch of its blockchain platform, Silsal.
In its press release, Abu Dhabi Ports stated that the technology is designed to, "address the gap in the market for exporters and importers, to provide easy and public access to transaction status updates, reduce the need for paperwork, calls and physical visits as well as to speed up information exchange overall."
The platform will first be made available to freight forwarders and their customers before being rolled out to the rest of the shipping and logistics industry as a supplement to the existing system.
When announcing the new platform, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports stated:
"We are delighted to announce the launch of the first home-grown blockchain technology in Abu Dhabi through Silsal service, which was developed using local resources and capabilities to provide advanced services to all users … This achievement will help to further augment Abu Dhabi's position as a centre for innovation in logistics and trade."
Maqta Gateway designed Silsal with a unique form of digital identity that is meant to reduce the security risks involved with usernames and passwords, which can be hacked, sold, or stolen. This in-house identity allows Maqta Gateway to encrypt important transportation documents, such as bills of lading, delivery orders, and transport booking orders.
When speaking about the importance of technology in the logistics field, Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, said:
"Technology is a crucial driver for the future of the shipping, logistics and trade industry and blockchain is a key step in the digitalization of trade. Through Silsal we will be offering the trade community secure and integrated access to blockchain technology."
The shipping and logistics industry is a forerunner in areas that are benefiting from blockchain upgrades. In November 2017, shipping giant UPS joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), and hopes to use blockchain systems to improve security and overall customer service. The following May, Northfolk Southern, one of the biggest shipping and logistics companies in the US, also joined with BiTA to help identify opportunities for blockchain technologies to improve the transportation supply-chain.
Last August, blockchain startup T-Mining and data utility platform NxtPort partnered to create a blockchain platform to better track individual shipping containers.