Last week TradeLens signed an agreement with Russia to run a pilot project with the Port of St Petersburg, Russia’s main shipping gateway. TradeLens is the container shipping documentation blockchain developed jointly by Maersk and IBM.
The deal follows the big announcement two weeks ago that two of the world’s largest shipping carriers MSC and CMA-CGM signed up as TradeLens members. Both of them are in the world’s top five. Apart from Maersk, other shipping members include Maersk subsidiary Hamburg Sud as well as the world’s tenth and eleventh largest carriers Pacific International Lines (PIL) and Israeli shipper ZIM.
If all the members use TradeLens for every shipment, then it would represent almost half of the world’s container cargo.
The Russian agreement was signed by Maersk CEO Søren Skou and Russia’s Deputy Transport Minister Mr. Yuriy Tsvetkov. The aim is to digitize the document flow of the transport business within Russia, starting with a pilot with the Port of St Petersburg.
“The main result of the implementation of TradeLens, according to our expectations, should be an increase in the transparency of the Contracting procedure by distributing information about supply and demand, conditions and operations between many participants of the transport and logistics processes,” said Mr. Yuriy Tsvetkov at the signing ceremony.
Hence members can view the data as the cargo moves around the globe, including interactions with regulatory authorities.
TradeLens is a little unusual in that it’s not a joint venture. Instead, IBM and Maersk may each sign up licensees and earn revenues from the clients they enlist.
So far the platform has more than 100 members, and has processed over ten million discrete shipping “events” and thousands of documents each week.
The Port of St Petersburg is in good company as TradeLens already boats numerous major port members who have piloted the system. These include PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase, Port of Marseille, Spanish sports in Valencia and Algeciras and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia and Maersk-owned APM Terminals’ network.