TradeLens, a digital platform based on blockchain technology, has signed a collaboration agreement with the Port Authority of Algeciras in southern Spain. TradeLens was developed by IBM and Maersk, the global shipping giant. The port features a range of maritime infrastructures located around the Bay of Gibraltar. Algeciras is joining other leading port operators that are testing and implementing blockchain technology to streamline their operations.
Algeciras is one of Europe's busiest ports, handling over 70 million tons of cargo traffic annually. In 2017, the port had a throughput of 4.3 million containers. According to Europa Press, the goal of the collaboration agreement is to more securely and efficiently manage the exchange of information and documentation between partners within a supply chain. The port hopes to give shippers, freight forwarders, logistics operators, and shipping companies an added layer of value to attract end-users.
Large port operators around the world are actively pursuing the perceived advantages offered by blockchain technology. As reported by ETHNews, TradeLens can "track important shipping data in real time and provide an indisputable record of that data to everyone involved. Supply chain participants hope to standardize data exchange in a secure environment. These capabilities promise leaps in efficiency as platform users address everyday customer questions such as: 'Where is my container?'"
In October 2018, the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands partnered with major Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the IT subsidiary of Samsung to test blockchain for shipping. In June 2018, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports became the first entity in the country to deploy its own blockchain solution. The subsidiary, Maqta Gateway LLC, developed and launched Silsal – a blockchain-based technology that aims to improve efficiency in the shipping and logistics industry. The leading port operator in the United Kingdom, Associated British Ports, signed an agreement in September 2018 with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to utilize blockchain for port logistics.