Port Report: Barge business goes digital with blockchain

Europe’s barge markets are set to deploy blockchain as they migrate to a paperless post-trade world

VAKT, a specialist in commodity post-trade processing underpinned by blockchain, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with essDOCS, a provider of paperless trade solutions.

The MOU focuses on the northwest European barge markets, where the companies believe it is possible to further smooth the post-trade process for all parties involved in the transaction.

Initially the solution’s rollout will focus on tanker barge markets in northwestern Europe, but the partners also are exploring global options.

“Previously, this market relied on a highly inefficient paper-based post-trade process,” said a joint statement.

“Trading parties would agree on information to send on to the terminal, which would add its own information before sending on to barge captains to agree and sign for the product and quantities loaded or discharged from the vessel. This lengthy process results in several paper documents including the barge receipt, which when physically signed allowed the barge to sail and the seller to invoice the buyer.”

In the future, a combined VAKT-essDOCS solution will allow the entire process to be handled digitally, speeding it up, reducing the scope for error and cutting costs.

“By working with VAKT, the key shipping documents and data can then be added to the immutable, tamper-proof blockchain platform, offering an easily retrievable single source of truth for all parties involved in the transaction,” said the statement.

“While our initial focus is the northwest Europe tank barge market, where combined we have a critical mass of customers and an unrivalled digital post-trade offering, we are also exploring additional global markets where eDocs are key to full digitization,” said essDOCS CEO Alexander Goulandris.

FreightWaves articles by Mike

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