Nine shipping carriers and terminal operators, including Hutchison Ports, have agreed to form a consortium to develop a blockchain based Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN).
GSBN will be an open digital platform that uses distributed ledger technology to connect all stakeholders in the shipping supply chain, including carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers, and logistics service providers.
The container shipping industry will be able to use the platform to converge siloed shipment management procedures and address disruptive information gaps.
The consortium's members plan to collaboratively develop the platform establish standards to facilitate the seamless sharing of documents and data across all stages of the shipping lifecycle.
By using blockchain technology, the partners are seeking to ensure that the platform is open and extensible, offers transparency and instant validation of records, and uses an industry wide set of common, trusted standards.
The blockchain initiative is being led by CargoSmart, which provides technology solutions for carriers, terminals, shippers and forwarders.
The first pilot application for the planned platform will allow shippers to digitize and organize their dangerous goods documents and automatically connect with relevant parties to streamline the approval process. This application is expected to be available next month.
“As a founding member of the GSBN consortium, Hutchison Ports recognises the potential of blockchain technology to be the key game changer with far-reaching impact on global supply chains, bringing immense benefits to all aspects of operations and end-to-end visibility throughout the entire supply chain,” Hutchison Ports director of corporate finance and business development Ivor Chow said.
“This collaboration brings together major industry players who strive to develop an open digital platform that will deliver efficiency gains and reduce costs of transactions,”
As well as Hutchison Ports and CargoSmart, the consortium comprises ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, and Yang Mi, and terminal operators DP World, PSA International Pte Ltd, and Shanghai International Port.