Spanish Port Operator Joins IBM-Maersk Blockchain Shipping Platform TradeLens

APBA, which manages the southern ports of Algeciras and Tarifa, has decided to make its service more competitive by using distributed ledger solutions.

Port of Algeciras Bay Authority (APBA), one of the largest dock operators in Europe, has turned to blockchain technology in a bid to expand its customer base. APBA, which manages Spanish ports of Algeciras and Tarifa, has signed an agreement with IBM to join its distributed ledger-powered shipping project TradeLens, local media Europa Press reported on Monday. TradeLens is a joint initiative of the US tech company and the global shipping giant Maersk.

APBA decided to utilize blockchain solutions in its everyday activities with the aim to cut operational costs by eliminating paper-based processes, the company said in a business note. Moreover, distributed ledger technology (DLT) will speed up the handling process and improve transparency and trust as it removes the need for third parties and tracks all activities.

APBA is one of the busiest port operators in Europe when it comes to cargo and container shipping management. As per company data, last year they handled 4.97 million containers, of which 4.07 million related to international trading.

According to the firm’s 2020 vision, APBA is obliged to search for new shipping solutions in a bid to expand its market share.

“To spearhead the supply of competitive, sustainable port and logistics services that generate added value in close harmony with our customers and to benefit our regional economy and employment rates,” the 2020 vision reads.

As APBA is part of the Department of Public Works and Transport, its agreement with IBM marks another deal when large state agencies have joined TradeLens. In October 2018, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Port of Montreal Authority (MPA) signed cooperation agreements with the project.

In June 2018, IBM and Maersk launched TradeLenst after twelve months of testing. TradeLens has three business layers: the network that connects shippers, ports, terminals, forwarders ocean carriers, and governmental agencies, the system which implements Hyperledger blockchain solutions in the shipping process and allows sharing of documents between partners, and the infrastructure for the management of blockchain industry-developed applications (dApps).

A similar project to TradeLens is the joint initiative of the South Korean tech giant Samsung and Dutch commercial banks ABN AMRO, which will connect two blockchains during a global shipping trial.

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