The Silsal solution has been progressively rolled out at a local level since June and this pilot project marks the first trial with a major international line. This will enable Abu Dhabi Ports unit Maqta Gateway to test it in an international shipping environment.
The system was developed internally, compared to others who have pulled in major IT partners.
ABU Dhabi Ports unit Maqta Gateway will carry out a pilot project to test its blockchain solution Silsal with Mediterranean Shipping Company in what will be its first partnership with a major shipping line.
The company said in an announcement the test marks a major milestone for the port’s homegrown Silsal solution which provides a seamless and secure link between stakeholders across the trade community using the electronic ledger system.
Silsal has been rolled out in phases since June 2018 and has been offered first to freight forwarders and their customers, before subsequently being extended to the rest of the trade community as a complementary tool to the Maqta Port Community System.
It was developed by the port’s Digital Innovation Lab and was initially field tested with Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategic customers locally before moving on to this next step. The aim is to be able to encrypt all documentation, including but not limited to Bills of Lading, Delivery Orders, and booking and transport orders.
As a major carrier, MSC will provide vital information and feedback on the international pilot project, which will test the capabilities of the technology to exchange, identify, and acknowledge cargo documents and certificates between Abu Dhabi Ports and other ports.
Abu Dhabi Ports chief executive officer Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “We will continue to harness the power of innovative solutions and emerging technologies to further facilitate trade in the future.”
MSC is among several international investors to have invested heavily in Abu Dhabi Ports recently with a $1.1bn investment to build a new container terminal at Khalifa Port and Chinese investors committed to pumping in $1bn to free trade and industrial zones in Khalifa Port.
MSC Group president and chief excutive officer Diego Aponte said: “We greatly value our partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, working together to facilitate trade and improve our customers’ experience through technology and innovation.”
Maqta Gateway chief executive officer Noura Al Dhaheri said: “We are delighted to be working with a world-class international partner such as MSC on such a milestone project for Abu Dhabi Ports, Silsal is the first unveiled blockchain solution of its kind between our Emirate and the world.”
MSC chief information officer Andre Simha said: “This innovative pilot project should help pave the way for improved documentation flows and streamline supply chains for companies. We welcome new partnerships which reduce delays, improve inventory management, and identify issues faster, resulting in significant cost savings for all parties involved.”
Other major lines have tied up with various other partners on blockchain technology. For example, Maersk Line has teamed up with IBM for its TradeLens platform while Orient Overseas Shipping Line’s CargoSmart booking platform has tied up with Oracle. Meanwhile Singapore’s PSA International and Pacific International Lines have also tied up with IBM on a blockchain-based supply chain network.