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Tesla cargo in blockchain shipping pilot with COSCO, Shanghai Port

shipping container cargo trade

Today, logistics tech firm CargoSmart announced it completed a blockchain pilot for the cargo release process with COSCO SHIPPING LINES (COSCO), Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), and Tesla. The project is part of the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) blockchain consortium and enabled the ocean carrier to share shipment data with the terminal operator using blockchain.

The incorporation of GSBN is pending regulatory approval. COSCO and SIPG plan to become shareholders of GSBN, along with CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Ports, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, Port of Qingdao and PSA International.

The cargo release process is heavy on paper documentation. The pilot enabled easy verification of consignee and shipping agent with the ocean carrier, which helped the customer, Tesla, to pick up its cargo from the terminal faster.

The pilot, conducted in December 2019, allowed SIPG to view COSCO’s sea waybill data for faster preparation of delivery orders for consignees and their shipping agents. Additional features have since been added to the solution.

“The pilot with SIPG and CargoSmart showcased significant efficiency gains not only in the cargo release process, but also for downstream supply chain planning by presenting a single source of truth for documentation for all involved parties,” said Wu Yu, General Manager of Business Process & System Division of COSCO.

The GSBN consortium aims to digitize shipping operations and bring together ocean carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers, and logistics service providers on a single platform. CargoSmart is the technology provider for GSBN. With this successful pilot connecting ocean carrier and terminal operators, the consortium moves an inch closer to an official launch. 

“The pilot is a key component of our journey towards paperless, trusted, and seamless trade processes at the Port of Shanghai, and it demonstrates the benefits for supply chain stakeholders around the world,” said Henry Huang, Executive DGM of Operation & Business Department of SIPG.

Going forward, GSBN will initiate similar pilots with the Xiamen Ocean Gate Container Terminal (XOCT), the Port of Qingdao in China and the Port of Laem Chabang in Thailand. 

The GSBN consortium boasts of some high-profile members, with three of the top 10 global shippers. It also lists three of the world’s largest port operators as members. Enterprise blockchain Hyperledger Fabric is the technology that underpins the network.

IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens platform is a direct competitor of GSBN and is already live. The two consortiums have some overlap with regards to membership, such as Hapag-Lloyd and CMA-CGM and port operator PSA.