News Supply chain

Five of top 10 container shippers join new blockchain consortium

container ship

Today at the China International Import Expo plans for a new blockchain consortium, the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) were announced. The statement of intent to form the consortium includes five of the largest ten container carriers: CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, and Yang Ming.

Additionally, four terminal operators have signed up including DP World, Hutchison Ports, Singapore’s PSA International, and Shanghai International Port. The first three are the world’s largest port operators by tonnage. The technology provider is CargoSmart.

The project aims to trigger digital transformation in the supply chain and connect carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers and logistics service providers.

“With the vision of a truly open blockchain platform for the industry, the GSBN will be key to the success of establishing a sustainable blockchain ecosystem for all stakeholders in the supply chain. OOCL is very excited to be a part of this highly collaborative environment that can facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas towards even more innovative business models and solutions for our customers,” said Andy Tung, co-chief executive officer of Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd.

Crowded market

The consortium’s purpose sounds familiar because it’s a direct competitor to the IBM/Maersk TradeLens initiative. TradeLens has signed up more than twenty port terminals, but apart from Maersk and subsidiary Hamburg Sud, the only other carrier is Pacific International Lines (PIL). The three carriers have a combined market share of 22.8% compared to 30.3% for the new GSBN consortium.

Additionally, the world’s largest shipping freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel is working on a blockchain project with Accenture where a spokesperson told Ledger Insights that “the governance model will ensure that additional partners will be able to join with equal rights and obligations.”

Singapore’s PSA is participating in both TradeLens and GSBN and is also part owner in the Open Trade Blockchain (OTB) which launched four months ago.

On top of these significant projects, there are numerous local trade initiatives organized by customs and port operators.

GSBN Plans

The leading GSBN consortium members aim to create a set of standards for document sharing across the full shipping lifecycle. CargoSmart with its 18 years of shipping experience initiated the consortium.

The first solution involves documentation for dangerous goods. The application is scheduled to be available in December 2018.

Steve Siu, chief executive officer of CargoSmart, commented: “Providing a solution for supply chain parties to auto-fill repeated and verified information can dramatically increase data accuracy and efficiency for the whole logistics process.”

CargoSmart was one of the companies that went live at the launch of Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud offering. The system is built using Hyperledger Fabric.