Manuport Logistics and Van Moer switch to MSC Belgium‘s new Secure Container Release application. The shipping company took the lead in the security of the container traffic based on blockchain technology in the port of Antwerp.
Ten years ago, MSC Belgium was the first to replace the paper ‘tracking’ with a PIN code. Since March of this year this has been replaced by a digital token, based on blockchain technology. MSC Belgium teamed up with the Antwerp software developer T-Mining for this. The brand-new system should make the process of releasing containers between all parties involved even safer and more efficient.
One of the first parties on board is forwarding organization Manuport Logistics. “We strongly believe in a more efficient and safer division of the collection right via blockchain. It is a first step in the right direction”, says digital transformation manager Tijs Grootjans.
Traditionally, each container is given its own PIN code, which is passed on in each step in the logistics process. Fraudulent organizations have already abused that system in the past by duplicating the codes. Whoever presents themselves with the PIN code has the right to take the container with them. Blockchain makes it possible to transfer information, such as the collection right of a container. Once the collection right has been transferred, the sender no longer has the right himself.
“In time, all the logistics players in the chain we work with, such as the transporters, will benefit more and more from the application,” says Grootjans. “They will no longer even receive a PIN code but will automatically be notified that pick-up rights have been transferred securely.”
“Only when all parties are on board, will you get a coherent system”, Grootjans continues. “That’s the idea behind blockchain. I hope that the initiative with MSC Belgium and T-Mining can be a signal for other logistics players to jump on board as soon as possible. Today, more than ever, companies have woken up to make digitization a priority“.
MSC Belgium is the first shipping company to apply blockchain technology in the port of Antwerp. “Innovation cannot be just a buzzword. We take our responsibility to pioneer these new technologies. We want to make the port a safer place for all stakeholders in our port community”, says import general manager Wouter Bassier.
“Our core business is to get companies to work together,” adds CEO Nico Wauters of T-Mining. “MSC Belgium was our first major customer since we started in 2016. In 2017, together with MSC, PSA, freight forwarders and a number of carriers, we successfully tested the system in practice. Since then, we have worked hard to make the solution fully production-ready”.
Van Moer Logistics also made the switch to Secure Container Release. “The switch went very smoothly because we were also in daily contact with MSC Belgium and T-Mining. We followed up on the developments of the portal and were also able to guide our users”, says ICT manager Joris Emanuel.
“We are aware of the fraudulent nature of the PIN code and we absolutely do not want to be associated with it”, Emanuel continues. “In the operational field, the planner traditionally writes down the information and passes it on. A wrong number or character can quickly cause a lot of confusion and delays. That’s gone now. The PIN code is sent directly to the driver on his mobile phone.”
The safe and smart management of cargo flows is a key spearhead for the Antwerp port community. MSC will link the Secure Container Release application to NxtPort’s central data platform ‘Certified Pick up’, which will become mandatory for all players in the port of Antwerp by 1 January 2021 at the latest.
Julie Desmet – Flows 19 May 2020