Today CargoSmart announced that three of the five world’s biggest container shippers have signed formal service agreements to participate in the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) blockchain. The shipping companies are COSCO, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and COSCO owned OOCL. For ports they have signed COSCO SHIPPING Ports, Hutchison Ports, Port of Qingdao, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group. CargoSmart acts as the technology provider.
The intention to form the consortium was first announced eight months ago when two additional top ten shippers, Evergreen and Yang Ming, were included. A spokesperson for CargoSmart told Ledger Insights that “this time Evergreen and Yang Ming are not the signatories.”
CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and PSA International are also participants in IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens blockchain platform.
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Like TradeLens, the GSBN aims to digitize global shipping to make it more efficient and provide greater visibility and transparency.
CargoSmart was keen to emphasize that while it’s starting with shippers and ports, it will quickly involve other parties in the shipping supply chain. It is being built for all participants, not just shippers and ports.
That point was reinforced by Hapag-Lloyd. “Once it is established, the GSBN will work, with its JV structure and strong carrier and terminal participation, to increase efficiency in cross-network operation for the benefit of the various stakeholders in our industry,” said Martin Gnass, Managing Director IT Technology at Hapag-Lloyd.
The non-profit GSBN joint venture consortium is still in the “preparatory” stage, and the group expect it to be established in early 2020, subject to regulatory, competition and antitrust approvals. That puts it a bit behind TradeLens, which is already up and running with significant volumes.
Part of the preparation is to develop an open governance framework as well as a roadmap of use cases, APIs and applications. “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,” said Ho Ghim Siew, Head of Group Commercial, Strategy and Cargo Solutions, PSA International. “We believe this greater connectedness will benefit the supply chain and facilitate a more efficient and transparent future for global trade,”