The Port of Rotterdam Authority in Netherlands has launched a field lab to explore blockchain technology.
The operator of Europe’s largest and busiest shipping port has launched a field lab to explore and develop “concrete applications and solutions” based on blockchain technology. The research lab, titled ‘BlockLab’ is a project jointly-launched with the Municipality of Rotterdam, who will also fill the role as a financier.
A decentralized operation powered with blockchain technology has already proved that multiple parties in the shipping industry – the supplier, shipper, port operators and customs, as well as terminal authorities – are able to access real-time shipping data over an interoperable blockchain.
Launching with a core team of five, the BlockLab will also see participation from the Cambridge Innovation Center, an incubator and innovation hub in Rotterdam. The blockchain lab will also explore other initiatives beyond the shipping industry. For instance, BlockLab will research an energy transition project wherein citizens in Rotterdam trade electricity and companies trade residual heat in the city and the port over a blockchain.
Rotterdam’s initiative joins a growing number of port authorities, customs agencies and shipping operators exploring blockchain technology. Earlier this year, Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean container shipper, partnered IBM to create a supply chain of freight forwarders, ocean carriers and port operators over an interconnected blockchain. IBM estimates that shipping carriers could save up to $38 billion per year using the decentralized technology.
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