Last month the GSBN was incorporated as a non-profit in Hong Kong to track shipping documents using blockchain. Its founding shareholders include numerous big names in Asia and beyond. They are COSCO SHIPPING LINES and PORTS, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL (COSCO owned), SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group.
“Its industry-wide, secure, trusted data exchange platform will facilitate the sharing of data to streamline operations, improve the user experience and create value for all stakeholders in the supply chain,” said Bertrand Chen, GSBN’s CEO.
For the bank, the advantage is it can check trade documentation and corporate customer authorizations via the blockchain. This means cargo receipts can go paperless and enables greater efficiency. What’s not mentioned in the announcement is it also reduces the potential for fraud.
Teng Linhui, BOCHK’s General Manager for transaction banking said that the two organizations will, “explore different scenarios and models and bring about integration of trade finance and shipping logistics, the two important elements in supply chains, in order to promote trade facilitation and create value for customers.”
The bank said it already completed a pilot with COSCO and OOCL. Back in 2019, there were other GSBN trials with the Hong Kong trade finance blockchain eTradeConnect, where BOCHK is a member.
BOCHK is one of only three Hong Kong banks that can issue Hong Kong dollar notes and is the sole clearing bank for Chinese renminbi business in Hong Kong. Despite a stock market listing it is still a subsidiary of the mainland Bank of China, which has extensive blockchain interests and significant blockchain trade finance activities. These include participation in the China CITIC Bank forfaiting platform, which had processed $42 billion in transactions by August last year.