Nine industry-leading container shipping and terminal operators have committed to develop a secure data-exchange platform
Ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL have agreed to work with port operators to produce a blockchain-driven data exchange facility open to all stakeholders along the supply chain.
They became shareholders at the end of February in the proposed Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN).
Terminal operators COSCO Ports, Hutchison Ports, Port of Qingdao, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group are also shareholders in the network. Together they will establish a not-for-profit organisation to facilitate and manage the secure data-exchange platform.
Hapag-Lloyd managing director for IT Martin Gnass said the platform would use blockchain technology to streamline data sharing along the supply chain. “The signed shareholders’ agreement symbolises an important milestone towards securing an industry-wide secured digital collaboration platform that aims to benefit all parties in the global supply chain,” said Mr Gnass.
“We expect the trusted blockchain platform will accelerate the sharing of verified logistics and cargo data, streamline business operations across the whole supply chain and create value to each stakeholder.”
Partners in GSBN will seek regulatory approvals to form the network and begin developing value-creating applications for the supply chain. CargoSmart will be the technology solutions provider and platform operator on behalf of GSBN.
Shanghai International Port manager of strategy and the research department Ding Songbing said GSBN will accelerate digital transformation in container shipping and terminal operations. “Existing data exchange and practices in the shipping industry do not adequately address all terminal operational details, leading to missed opportunities to improve overall efficiency,” said Mr Songbing.
“With terminal operators being founding members of the blockchain platform, we believe GSBN will capitalise on new and existing opportunities on the terminal side and expedite digitalisation in the industry.”
Prior to establishing GSBN, CargoSmart conducted several proof-of-concepts to validate opportunities to generate value for the participants. It worked with eTradeConnect, the trade and finance blockchain consortium facilitated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. This proved to GSBN partners how associated technologies would deliver actual benefits to the industry.
CargoSmart also demonstrated how GSBN’s combination of container shipping and terminal operators could provide a balanced perspective, bringing up new ideas to transform the industry by going beyond the conventional carrier-centric business model.
CargoSmart proved data-exchange technology resulted in fewer potential missed transshipment connections in July to October 2019 in Asian terminals. This increased the number of vessels that could use these terminals and the reliability of transhipments.
Platforms for optimising ship and port operations and sharing data will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s Optimised Ship Forum in Amsterdam on 18 May.