Container ship at terminal in Port Shenzhen, China. Shutterstock
On November 22, OneConnect, a financial technology company and associate of the China Merchants Group, announced the launch of a logistics and trade facilitation blockchain platform, which will “link” two of the biggest ports in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Shekou and Shunde. The linked port ecosystem has been established to provide the technology needed for managing the increasing trading volumes in the region.
OneConnect stated that the integration of Skekou and Shunde is just the first step to linking the 37 ports in the Greater Bay Area. The project has already been tested in a pilot with 200 twenty-foot equivalents of real goods imported and exported between the ports.
The company reported that throughout the pilot, the linking technology has reduced import and export-related logistics from five to seven days to just two, with transportation and customs declaration costs for enterprises decreased by 30%.
In the coming weeks, OneConnect expects to allow trade participants in the Greater Bay Area to “improve communication, streamline post clearance processes, and enhance the overall competitiveness of the ports,” using blockchain, big data, AI, and cloud computing.
The integration of the new platform aims to completely reform the way ports in the region conduct and regulate their finance and trade processes. The company further talked about a new “smart regulation” feature, which aims to unite separate customs declaration procedures and introduce cross-validation capabilities through IoT-based processes.
Moreover, OneConnect expects smart trade solutions to allow for convenient customs clearance and efficient logistics and digital finance, creating a more traceable trading environment. This should greatly enhance authentication processes for transportation as well as ensure that sensitive data is not tampered with.