News Supply chain

Pakistan’s Customs partners with TradeLens blockchain to digitize supply chains

container ship trade

Pakistan’s Customs is partnering with logistics blockchain platform TradeLens to digitize supply chains moving in and out of the country and enhance control of trade-based money laundering. 

Cross-border supply chains are complex operations that can often involve up to 30 independent parties and require various information exchanges for a single shipment. The costs are inevitably high and the opportunities for mistakes and fraud increase with every exchange. Digitizing these processes minimizes chances for error and creates a consistent and traceable log of all data that makes the management of supply chains more efficient and secure. 

TradeLens, a joint initiative between IBM and container shipping firm Maersk, created a solution to address this need, enabling each involved party to access the digital information that it’s permitted to view. It supports five of the six largest ocean carrier companies globally, including Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express, and has numerous international ports as participants. 

Through its partnership with Pakistan Customs, TradeLens will be able to integrate the documentation from carriers in its network, making them digital and traceable. Customs’ own operations and that of other trade regulators will also be further digitized, which will help make the process more efficient and more easily identify illegal activity. 

TradeLens is a network platform, meaning that its utility increases with the number of users. The addition of Pakistan Customs brings in more relevant data, which can help authorities make informed decisions regarding international trade. These benefit the import and export industry as well as involved governments, including Pakistan’s. 

The agreement was signed by the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) company, which is an initiative launched by the federal government to improve the trade industry in the country. In addition to integrating the TradeLens platform in operations, PSW is also working on standardizing data and an improved tariff management system. 

Meanwhile, TradeLens has been growing its platform. While Hapag-Lloyd and ONE joined TradeLens in 2019, they went live in the middle of 2021. Carriers CMA CGM and MSC are also part of the network. The platform signed with ten Chinese partners, as well as International Container Terminal Services. More recently, Tradelens integrated an anti-fraud trade finance solution.