Shipping and Port Companies Join CargoSmart Blockchain Initiative

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Published Jul 13, 2019 4:28 AM by The Maritime Executive

Shipment management software company, CargoSmart, has executed agreements with CMA CGM, COSCO Shipping Lines, COSCO Shipping Ports, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, Port of Qingdao, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group. 

Each signatory commits to provide resources to support the establishment of the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a not-for-profit joint venture to accelerate the digital transformation of the shipping industry. The preparatory work includes obtaining all necessary regulatory, competition and antitrust approvals required for the establishment of the GSBN. CargoSmart will provide software solutions and services to the GSBN once it is formed.

The GSBN intends to provide a platform for all shipping supply chain participants to work collaboratively to accelerate technology innovation and develop solutions through trusted and secure data exchange platforms. 

The container shipping industry is often characterized by disparate processes that take place across both physical and digital domains. The GSBN platform and standards are expected to facilitate the seamless sharing of documents and data across all stages of the shipping lifecycle. While the current signatories are shipping lines and terminal operators, it is envisaged that other participants in the shipping industry may wish to join the GSBN.

Based on blockchain technology, the new platform aims to offer the following benefits:

Open and Extensible – A cooperative network that enables members to develop applications and connect to other consortium networks to increase the speed of data integration and improve business performance.

Transparency and Instant Validation – Peer-to-peer networking that allows data owners to share immutable records to other shipment stakeholders, enabling them to take quick action regarding critical milestones and to keep cargo moving throughout the supply chain.

Digital Baseline for Standards – An industry-wide common, trusted and expansive digital model that provides a foundation for highly collaborative initiatives and market intelligence.

The companies plan to complete the establishment of the GSBN in early 2020. In the interim, as part of the process of preparing for the formation of the GSBN, CargoSmart will run pilot applications that test the viability of the GSBN. 

“Having an ethos of open architecture and good data governance among supply chain participants will go a long way towards building an Internet of Logistics. We believe this greater connectedness will benefit the supply chain and facilitate a more efficient and transparent future for global trade,” said Ho Ghim Siew, Head of Group Commercial, Strategy and Cargo Solutions, PSA International.

Earlier this month, Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) announced they will join TradeLens, an alternative blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by A.P. Moller - Maersk and IBM. The companies join CMA CGM, among others.