OneConnect launches linked port in China’s Greater Bay Area
By Edil Corneille
OneConnect Financial Technology, an associate of the Ping An Group, and China Merchants Group recently launched the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Port Logistics and Trade Facilitation Blockchain Platform Project for the ports Shekou and Shunde.
The ‘linked port’ technology ecosystem for the two ports is the first step to improve cross-border trade efficiency across the whole Greater Bay Area.
The technology project is part of the new infrastructure plan promoted by the Shenzhen municipal government and other governmental departments.
In a promising pilot, 200 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) of real goods were imported and exported between the Shekou and Shunde ports. The technology linking the two ports reduced import and export-related logistics processes from 5-7 days to 2 days. Transportation and customs declaration costs for enterprises also fell by 30 per cent.
The integrated technology linking trade participants operating in the Greater Bay Area is expected to improve communication, streamline port clearance processes and enhance the overall competitiveness of ports within the region.
The linked port project will use blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing to help create smart ports and enable smart regulation, smart trade and smart finance processes. OneConnect is a technical supporter of the project. It constructed the core port logistics data standards and the blockchain platform.
Using these technologies, trade participants will be able to connect with customs officials efficiently through a shared blockchain network across the Greater Bay Area. Trade participants will be able to swiftly identify the authenticity of any trade transaction through the validation of cross-border trade-related information registered on the blockchain.
The project focuses on four areas: smart ports, smart regulation, smart trade and smart finance. China Merchants Group’s port in Western Shenzhen will act as a key smart port that allows sharing of resources through blockchain technology, promoting efficient logistics and creating a digital ecosystem for port shipping in the Greater Bay Area.
Smart regulation will improve cooperation between custom officials and enterprises with a collaborative customs clearance process. Two separate customs declaration procedures will be simplified into one, with cross-validation capabilities made possible by blockchain technology and real-time information capture through the Internet of Things (IoT)-based processes.
Trading enterprises will also benefit from smart trade solutions for convenient customs clearance, efficient logistics and digital finance. Digital financial services such as export tax rebate financing and cross-border e-commerce financing will enhance integrated trade finance services in the Greater Bay Area and build up core competitiveness. The platform will also issue real-time warnings to assist the customs departments in managing any sensitive data regarding ships, containers and cargo.
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