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Air CargoBlockchainContainerEquipmentLast MileLess than TruckloadMaritimeModesNewsRailroadTechnologyToday's PickupTrucking

Today’s Pickup: Saudi Arabia completes shipment using blockchain; teen trucker proposal faces scrutiny

Good day,

Saudi Arabia said it has completed its first shipment powered by blockchain under Saudi Customs pilot program with TradeLens. TradeLens is a joint program from Maersk (CXE: MAERB) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) to develop blockchain technology for shipping.

The Saudi Customs department announced a shipment left Dammam Port in Saudi Arabia and successfully arrived in Rotterdam on May 13. All the paperwork and data with that shipment was handled by blockchain through TradeLens.

“To establish the Kingdom as one of the world’s premier logistics hub we needed to create a paradigm shift in the way we handle our shipping processes and explore futuristic approaches with our peer-to-peer business ecosystem worldwide,” said H.E Mr. Ahmed Al-Hakbani, Governor of Saudi Customs. “We hope our pilot program will stand the test of time to include other ports as well, and not just the route of exporting but importing also. We chose to embark on this tech journey knowing that change is uncomfortable, but it is inevitable to be a leading global player.”

During the test, the container’s packing list and commercial invoice was uploaded by the customer to the TradeLens platform in a structured format, with their export customs broker using the data in the documents to submit export declaration to Saudi customs. The shipment’s information was then accessed and used by Saudi Customs to register the clearance. 

The container was loaded onboard Maersk Sebarok, transshipped in the Port of Tangier and then sent on to Rotterdam, where Dutch Port Community System Portbase provided Dutch Customs release messages and gate-out information directly to the TradeLens platform. Next the container was transported by truck to a location close to Antwerp, Belgium, and its final destination.

The entire process was handled through the TradeLens platform using blockchain.

Did you know?

To date, approximately 75 percent of comments filed in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposal to lower the interstate driving age for a commercial driver’s license to 18 have been against the effort.

Quotable:

“We’re very excited about this….It’s a big win not just for TuSimple, but for the whole industry.”

Robert Brown, director of public affairs for autonomous vehicle startup TuSimple, which announced it will conduct road tests in conjunction with the United States Postal Service

In other news:

Kenworth trucks recalled

More than 1,800 Kenworth T680 and T880 trucks from model years 2018 through 2020 have been recalled due to a parking brake issue. (Go By Truck News)

Hydrogen truck test set for Canada

Alberta, Canada will be the test site for two hydrogen-electric heavy-duty trucks this year in a project led by the Alberta Motor Transport Association. (Hydrogen Fuel News)

Amazon to invest in new Florida cargo hub

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will spend $100 million to build a new cargo center at Lakeland Linder International Airport in a project expected to create 1,000 jobs. (Tampa Bay Times)

DHL starts drone delivery in China

Package giant DHL is working with EHang to deliver packages in China using small drones in urban areas. (Air Cargo News)

GM puts brakes on mobility efforts

GM (NYSE: GM) announced it will cease operations of its Maven ride-sharing program in several cities, including New York and Chicago, although it will continue in Detroit and Los Angeles. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

Final Thoughts

News that Saudi Arabia has completed a successful container shipment using blockchain will help build momentum for the technology, which could fundamentally change the process of moving goods globally. Blockchain was all the hype in 2017-2018, but without any clear projects providing success, some have wondered if the technology is over-hyped. Maybe, but real-world successes like this one will help regain the trust in blockchain and hopefully invigorate others to attempt their own projects.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.
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