Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) and Alibaba's finance offshoot Ant Group have signed an agreement to develop smart ports.
Both groups have agreed to build a blockchain-based port and shipping ecosystem, tapping on digital financial services. Specifically, SIPG, which operates all public container terminals in Shanghai, will provide a platform that supports collaboration between the upstream and downstream supply chain. The interconnection of the port and shipping network will jointly promote the development of the blockchain-based port and shipping ecosystem.
China's first publicly listed port operator SIPG has links to over 300 ports worldwide. In 2019, its container throughput totalled 43.3 million TEU, and Shanghai has been the world’s busiest container port for a decade.
Shippers, freight forwarders, customs clearance agents and other parties along the supply chain all work within port communities. Security concerns are inherent in these multi-party transactions and SIPG is looking at blockchain technology, which is expected to reshape international trade and logistics, to build trust.
SIPG chairman Gu Jinshan said that SIPG and Ant Group will carry out in-depth co-operation on the application of blockchain technology, with the eventual goal of improving service standards at Shanghai port.
Ant Group vice-president Jiang Guofei said that the group has worked with partners to overcome trust issues in more than 50 possible transaction types.
“Through applying blockchain technologies, the strong co-operation between SIPG and Ant Group will become a milestone and new paradigm for the digital upgrade of global smart ports,” he added.