Maqta Gateway, Port of Antwerp Partner To Trial Blockchain Solution For International Trade

Maqta Gateway, a subsidiary of UAE-based Abu Dhabi Ports, has partnered with Belgium’s Port of Antwerp to launch an international blockchain pilot.

Established in 2016, Maqta Gateway is the developer and operator of the first Port Community System (PCS) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which standardizes and secure all the information exchange among port stakeholders, customers and governmental authority entities, providing a single window to all port services with system-to-system integration.

Port of Antwerp is one of Europe’s largest seaports, ranking second behind Rotterdam by total freight shipped. In 2012, the port handled 14,220 sea trade ships (190.8 million tons of cargo, 53.6% in containers), 57,044 inland barges (123.2 million tons of cargo), and offered liner services to 800 different maritime destinations.

The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to test a blockchain platform called Silsal, which was launched in June of this year to address inefficiencies in the shipping industry and better connect importers and exporters. The platform was developed internally in the Digital Innovation Lab of Maqta Gateway and has been field tested with strategic customers of Abu Dhabi Ports.

The blockchain pilot is expected to help the companies to conduct trade transactions between the UAE and Belgium, enabling full cargo visibility and streamlining trade flows and supply chains. The pilot project will test the capabilities of the technology to exchange, identify and acknowledge cargo documents and certificates between Abu Dhabi Ports and the Port of Antwerp.

“This is an important moment for us as we prepare to implement the first applied blockchain solution of its kind between Abu Dhabi and the world,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports. “Our technology experts at Maqta Gateway are working with world-class international partners, such as the Port of Antwerp, to deliver fast, reliable, and secure trade transactions through rigorous development and testing programs.”

Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digitaland Information Officer (CDIO), Port of Antwerp, said that they continue to believe that innovation and digitization are crucial for the success of trade in the long term.

“With Maqta Gateway and Abu Dhabi Ports we found a strong partner in searching for global collaboration initiatives, to come up with innovative solutions that enable safer and more efficient processes in the Port,” Verstraelen said.

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