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The Philippines Ports Authority (PPA) is increasing its capacity to monitor port activity using blockchain technology. The PPA has granted a PHP900 million ($16.9 million) procurement contract to Shiptek Solutions Corp. (XLOG), a blockchain-based logistics startup, for its container tagging and tracking project.

The Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) and Empty Container Storage Shared Service Facility are the names of the projects. The PPA hopes the initiative will help reduce congestion at the country’s ports and increase supply lines’ efficiency, according to the local news site the Inquirer.net.

The PPA’s General Manager, Jay Daniel Santiago, instructed Shiptek Solutions to begin work on the project immediately in the award notification.

Shiptek Solutions will use its experience in digital documentation, online booking, fleet management, payment systems, cargo tracking, container insurance, and financial management in the country’s largest ports as part of the project.

The Port of Manila, Manila International Container Terminal, Manila South Harbor, and three additional economic zones are among these ports. Shippers, carriers, and consignees who use these ports will be able to track, insure, and pay for transactions online.

Shiptek Solutions’ journey thus far

Several parties, notably the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. and the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, objected to the contract being awarded. The organizations fear that the move would upset the delicate balance of business at ports and negatively impact port activity.

Regardless, Shiptek Solutions is confident in its ability to grow its services throughout Southeast Asia. According to the business’s founder and CEO, the growth would allow the company to become the region’s leading shipping technology supplier.

The startup, launched in 2018, intends to join other blockchain-adopting shipping companies such as Maersk and Singapore’s Pacific International Lines (PIL) to improve the shipping industry’s efficiency and transparency.

The UnionBank of the Philippines, for example, holds a 30% share in the logistics firm. In the Philippines, UnionBank has long been a proponent of blockchain use. The universal bank became the first financial institution to issue a digital peso bond with blockchain technology.

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