Port of Rotterdam Focusing Blockchain on Logistics and Energy

Container terminal cranes at Port of RotterdamIllustration. Image Courtesy: Port of Rotterdam

After launching a blockchain pilot in October 2018, Dutch Port of Rotterdam has now identified areas in which blockchain technology use would benefit its operations.

BlockLab, an entity established by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Municipality of Rotterdam to lead the pilot, is concentrating on the domains of logistics and energy.

The port authority explained that blockchain is suitable for coordinating processes in decentralized networks of companies and institutions, adding that the port’s traditionally centrally-controlled electrical grid is poised to benefit from the new technology. As the transition from energy supplied by a few dominant power suppliers with coal-powered plants begins to shift and include more renewable sources, the grid is becoming increasingly decentralized.

“Blockchain is the technology that can facilitate such a smart, decentralized gird and help achieve the promise of the energy transition,” Janjoost Jullens, BlockLab energy lead, said.

“The focus on blockchain is an offensive strategy, geared towards increasing the share of sustainable energy.”

Together with S&P Global Platts, BlockLab is building a platform that coordinates the supply and demand of energy. First practical test of the energy platform would be undertaken in the Innovation Dock in Rotterdam in the coming months.

“That is the Port Authority’s own site with smart energy meters. In the Innovation Dock we can easily show that we can coordinate supply and demand in the energy domain,” explained Jullens.

The port authority said that the use of blockchain can be observed as a defensive strategy when it comes to logistics, another decentralized network.

“In this network, deploying blockchain is much more of a defensive strategy, focusing on retaining market share,” Aljosja Beije, logistics lead at BlockLab, explained.

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