The first batch of companies to join the initiative are Cosco Shipping, Maersk, Evergreen, CMA CGM, Yang Ming, Seaspan, Zeebrugge Port, Shandong Port Group, China Grain Reserves, BIMCO, Chalco Logistics, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, China Mobile and China FAW.

Chairman of Cosco Group, Captain Xu Lirong, stated that "at present, shipping and related industries are facing the double challenges from external environment and requirements of our own development, which require all the participants in the shipping industry chain to cooperate to cope with." The Chairman added that he regards the initiative as a solution to the current challenges that the market has to face and overcome.

COSCO has also asked more corporations to join the initiative in order to give support to the sustainable growth of trade and shipping by aligning the supply and demand of both upstream and downstream, to improve the efficiency of resource allocation, and work together on solutions to combat the challenges facing shipping.

It is reminded that recent developments see OFAC, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, imposing sanctions on COSCO tankers and certain entities and individuals for transferring Iranian oil, which is against the US rules. Thus, OFAC has further explained who these sanctions impact and how the shipping industry is affected.

This comes after the White House alerted Chinese shipping companies of not turning off their AIS, hiding Iranian oil shipments in violation of US sanctions as it is an action often conducted to circumvent sanctions.