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Saudi Arabia's Dammam Port departs first blockchain-powered shipment to Rotterdam

Source: Saudi Customs (Twitter)

Mon, 27 May 2019, 06:03 am UTC

Saudi Customs announced this month that the Dammam Port in Saudi Arabia departed the first blockchain-powered shipment to Rotterdam.

This marks the second milestone of a pilot program launched last year in collaboration with TradeLens, a blockchain-based global shipping solution jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. The pilot program involved the integration of FASAH with TradeLens.

TradeLens allows multiple trading partners to collaborate by establishing a single shared view of a transaction and its related documents without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

FASAH is Saudi Arabia’s national platform that connects all the stakeholders, both public and private, involved in cross-border trade. The integration with TradeLens aimed to ensure immutability, traceability, reduced reconciliation, auditability, and compliance for selected services.

In its latest announcement, Saudi Customs said that the Rotterdam-bound cargo departed Dammam Port, with related data and documents handled by all involved parties on FASAH.

“We hope our pilot program will stand the test of time to include other ports as well, and not just the route of exporting, but importing also. We chose to embark on this tech journey knowing that change is uncomfortable, but it is inevitable to be a leading global player,” said H.E Mr. Ahmed Al-Hakbani, Governor of Saudi Customs.

The shipment’s key events and documents were monitored in the TradeLens platform. Using blockchain-backed structured documentation, data from the shipment’s documents were analyzed by both the export and import customs authorities and the cargo owners via the platform.

Saudi Customes said that this is the first TradeLens pilot project in the Middle East and demonstrates the capabilities of blockchain technology as an alternative to the traditional paper-based processes. By replicating digital documents across multiple supply chain participants, it aims to identify potential improvements to the export and import processes.

“TradeLens offers an opportunity of collaboration and commitment among all stakeholders by building trust through a model that benefits all parties,” said Mohammad Shihab, managing director of Maersk Saudi Arabia. “We are excited for Saudi Customs to pioneer the use of the platform and shape the transformation of the business processes in the region.”

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