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Abu Dhabi Ports Launches Blockchain Trade Solution for Imports and Exports

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:08 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:08 PM

Maqta Gateway, a wholly owned subsidiary of maritime industry developer Abu Dhabi Ports, has developed and deployed its own blockchain solution for international logistics and trade.

Dubbed ‘Silsal’, Arabic for ‘chain’, the blockchain solution is now the first of its kind platform in Abu Dhabi and will enable real-time tracking of cargo and paperless documents while saving time and increasing overall efficiency of international trade on a decentralized ledger, the Emirates News Agency reports .

The blockchain solution was developed to bridge the gap between exporters and importers in an industry that is notoriously averse to digitization and change by reducing the need for manual paperwork, communication and physical visits with faster, real-time information exchanges over a decentralized ledger.

The international shipping industry is particularly ripe for disruption with the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimating that blockchain technology could potentially save 20 percent of the total physical transportation expenses, cutting costs by up to $1 trillion in global trade.

“[B]lockchain is a key step in the digitalization of trade,” said Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, adding:

Through Silsal, we will be offering the trade community secure and integrated access to blockchain technology, with the added value of cost and time savings through real-time track and trace, reduction in paperwork and ease in extracting vital information to receive live updates.

The platform will also be able to encrypt and safely secure all essential transport documentation including the bill of lading, booking, delivery and transport orders.

Developed by the Digital Innovation Lab of Maqta Gateway, the blockchain was field tested with strategic customers of Abu Dhabi Ports prior to launch and will see a commercial rollout to freight forwarders and their customers initially. Subsequently, the technology will be offered to the rest of the trade community as a ‘complementary tool’ alongside the current Maqta’s Port Community System, a move that will fast-track adoption.

The deployment joins a growing list of similar blockchain applications within the international trade industry including systems developed by Europe’s largest shipping port in Rotterdam, Australia’s Port of Brisbane, Korea’s shipping industry and the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk.

Port of Abu Dhabi image from Shutterstock.