France’s largest port is developing a blockchain supply chain system

The port Marseille-Fos in France is developing a blockchain-based supply chain management system. The project will first focus on the Mediterranean-Rhône-Saône axis (MeRS) transport corridor. In its announcement yesterday, the port stated that it expects to launch the system in June this year.

The port of Marseille-Fos is the largest in France and Europe’s fourth-largest after Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. It handles over 100 million tons of shipping every year.

The project is backed by the Interministerial Delegation for the port’s development, the press release revealed. It will target the security of the digital transport chain. It will improve the safety, fluidity and competitiveness of the logistics chain, the port further stated.

The port was also full of praise for blockchain technology, stating:

“The solution, that will build a chain of virtual and secure documents, will make possible the data sharing between interested parties without superstructure thanks to certified blockchain technology without the need of a trusted third party.”

Other than the Interministerial Delegation, the project is also supported by other stakeholders, all of whom are interested in the improvement of the port’s competitiveness at the global level. They include public sector financial institution Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Voies navigables de France, the country’s inland waterways management authority, and Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, an electricity generation company.

The port expects to launch the proof of concept in June this year. It will focus on the sharing of information and documents first, the press release indicated. With time, it will encompass the entire supply chain. 

And this is just the first of many ports to apply blockchain, the press release indicated. “The expected benefits are above all better control and visibility on all the points of the supply chain thanks to a combination of logistical and technological expertise. A successful system would be applicable to other ports.”

The pilot will bring together three companies, all with expertise in blockchain technology and logistics. The first is BuyCo, a company that offers a collaborative platform for exporters and importers, simplifying the complex process. Marseille Gyptis International will offer software that can track goods in seaports. The third firm is KeeeX, a firm that specializes in digital security.

Danish shipping giant Maersk has been a pioneer in the use of blockchain in the shipping industry. Maersk, which is the largest shipping company in the world partnered with IBM last year to launch a blockchain-based shipping supply chain platform.

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