On November 6, at the first China International Import Expo, nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operators signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a consortium to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an open digital platform based on distributed ledger technology. The participants include ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, and Yang Ming.

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Alongside with the ocean carriers, leading terminal operators DP World, Hutchison Ports, PSA International Pte Ltd, and Shanghai International Port participated in the project.

The software solutions provider will be CargoSmart, a company headquartered in Hong Kong. The new platform will establish a digital baseline that aims to connect all stakeholders, including carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers, and logistics service providers to enable collaborative innovation and digital transformation in the supply chain.

The GSBN blockchain consortium has the potential to enable faster, more accurate processing of cargo information and more transparency of terminal operations to cargo owners. We look forward to using the latest technologies for optimizing shipping processes and collaboration.

Yan Jun, president of Shanghai International Port stated.

Based on blockchain technology, the GSBN platform will offer the following benefits:

  • Open and Extensible: A cooperative network 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 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 provides a foundation for highly collaborative initiatives and market intelligence.

Τhe pilot project will consist of an application which will allow shippers to digitize and organize their dangerous goods documents and automatically connect with relevant parties to streamline the approval process. The application is scheduled to be available in December 2018.

The GSBN follows closely after the announcement on the launch of TradeLens, a blockchain platform jointly developed by AP Moller-Maersk and IBM.