Abu Dhabi Ports and the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, have announced a collaboration on a pilot program for a blockchain-powered supply chain project, Silsal, which will run a Proof of Concept test for handling international trade documents, according to Abu Dhabi Ports.

Silsal is designed to create a secured and seamless link between stakeholders in the various trade communities and will also utilise an electronic blockchain ledger system to create full cargo visibility and seamless trade flows.

Abu Dhabi Ports’ subsidiary, Maqta Gateway, and the Port of Antwerp signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will enable the two companies to implement the Silsal system on a limited basis when the pilot launches in the fourth quarter of 2018. The project will enable each stakeholder to verify documents through a secure link over an electronic ledger. Under the pilot program, the two ports will utilise the Silsal platform to track goods that are traded between Belgium and Abu Dhabi.

Silsal was first unveiled in June and has been rolled out in phases. Abu Dhabi Ports explained that the solution would first be offered to freight forwarders and their customers and later to the rest of the trade community. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, explained, “The vision of the UAE Leadership is for our nation to become a world leader in adopting blockchain, as per UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021, transforming digital transactions and saving time, effort and resources on a huge scale.”

More ports are looking forward to integrating the blockchain with their systems. The Port of Valencia in Spain is also looking for ways to integrate new technology and to create “a port without papers.” Shipping companies like FedEx are not left out in the journey and are also implementing the blockchain into their supply chains.

Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, explained the collaboration with Port Antwerp. He said, “We realized early on that blockchain technology can provide the very things necessary for reliability and integrity in the increasingly complex global supply chain. Silsal’s first international step today, working with the Port of Antwerp, is a manifestation of Abu Dhabi Ports’ commitment to secure Abu Dhabi’s global standing as a premier logistics, transport, and trade hub, and support the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.”

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