The Port of Marseille Fos, France’s largest port, is to pilot a blockchain solution on the Rhône-Saône transport corridor. © Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images
The Port of Marseille Fos, France’s largest port, is to pilot a blockchain solution on the Rhône-Saône transport corridor. © Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

Marseille port to run blockchain pilot

The Port of Marseille Fos, France’s largest port, is to pilot a blockchain solution on the Rhône-Saône transport corridor to make transportation more secure and give greater visibility in the supply chain.

The combination of logistics and technological expertise brought in to develop the platform would create an innovative system giving greater control and visibility throughout the supply chain, said the Marseille Fos Port Authority.

The pilot will take place in June and will be backed by two of France’s waterways authorities: Voies Navigables de France and La Compagnie Nationale du Rhône.

The Rhône-Saône transport corridor connects the Mediterranean seaport of Marseille with inland ports in France including the city of Lyon, France’s third largest.

“The blockchain solution will give certified users direct access to protected documentation, enabling numerous parties to share data without the need for dedicated infrastructure,” said the port authority.

It said the platform aimed to improve the fluidity, reliability and competitiveness of the digital transport chain.

Three companies will implement the pilot scheme: cargo tracking specialist Marseille Gyptis International (MGI); BuyCo, provider of a collaborative platform simplifying imports and exports of containers; and blockchain solutions specialist KeeeX.

The port authority said it would also rely on expertise provided by consortium members including shippers, transport companies and freight operators.

It hopes its platform can be marketed and reproduced in ports around the world if it is successful.

Marseille is following in the footsteps of others, such as Busan in South Korea, Brisbane in Australia, and Associated British Ports in developing standalone systems. However, more than 40 ports around the world have joined the IBM / Maersk TradeLens blockchain initiative including most recently the Spanish Ports of Valencia and Algeciras.

Marseille is the largest port in France and lists itself as having handled 82m tonnes of cargo handled in 2015.

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