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LONDON: September 27, 2018. UK port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International (MTI) to determine the use of blockchain technology for improving port connectivity.

Samskip cargo handled at the Port of Hull websiteABP operates 21 ports across the UK, handling 25 percent of the country’s seaborne cargo. So being able to transfer all types of cargo quickly and smoothly through its ports remains critical.

“We handle almost 100 million tonnes of cargo across all sectors every year so we are a significant gateway for our customers’ supply chains,” commented Jens Skibsted Nielsen, ABP Commercial director. “This MoU with MTI is a demonstration of our commitment to technical innovation and finding new ways to improve the UK’s supply chains.”

Ron Crean, group head of Marketing for ABP and leader of this project noted: “Our aim is to support our customers in achieving frictionless trade. Based on the results from our previous proof of concept project, we are now looking at ways to deploy enterprise-level solutions that can deliver trust, security and speed.”

As part of the agreement, ABP will commit to participating in MTI’s blockchain solution that could offer a way to securely link disparate ways of working and reduce time spent on manually re-entering data, ensuring a single version of an event.

“Blockchain is the buzzword of the logistics industry at the moment,” said Jody Cleworth, founder and CEO of MTI. “Yet some of the projects making a big splash are blockchain in name only. Blockchain-enabled technology has the potential to provide a transparent, secure and accurate way of capturing and sharing data with key parties, but for MTI the critical part is interoperability – it has to be able to openly connect with existing systems.

“The logistics industry is awash with proprietary technology that forces users to work in a certain way – with blockchain, we can connect all those systems to ensure data is accurately and quickly shared, helping speed-up and simplify the flow of trade in and out of the UK,” he added.

(Pictured: handling a Samskip container at the UK Port of Hull.)

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