Nine major shipping industry operators have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the Global Shipping Business Network, an open digital platform.
The network, which will be based on distributed ledger technology, will be formed with the goal of digitising the full supply chain between shipping service providers, carriers, customs agencies and other stakeholders. Hong Kong software firm CargoSmart initiated the formation of the consortium and will take the lead in developing the Global Shipping Business Network, using big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain technologies.
The first planned application of the Global Shipping Business Network, which is scheduled to be made available to consortium members in December 2018, will focus on dangerous goods documents. Participants will be able to digitise and organise their documentation and will be automatically connected with the relevant parties, in order to further the process of implementing dangerous goods approvals.
The MoU signing ceremony took place on November 6 at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Signatories to the Global Shipping Business Network included:
- Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CMA CGM Rodolphe Saadé;
- Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Lines Wang Haimin;
- Chief Operating Officer, Port and Terminals at DP World, Matthew Leech;
- President of the Evergreen Marine Corporation Lawrence Lee;
- Director of Corporate Finance & Business Development at Hutchison Ports, Ivor Chow;
- Co-Chief Executive Officer of Orient Overseas Container Line Andy Tung;
- Group Chief Executive Officer of PSA International Tan Chong Meng;
- President of Shanghai International Port (Group) Yan Jun;
- Chairman of the Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, Bronson Hsieh; and
- Steve Siu, Chief Executive Officer at CargoSmart.
The Global Shipping Business Network is the latest in a stream of blockchain solutions introduced by the maritime industry: last month the Port of Rotterdam announced it would begin a trial of blockchain software geared towards full integration of container logistics. The pilot project digitally connects all the parties involved in container transportation, a process which could otherwise involve the sharing of paperwork between up to 28 different parties to move a single container.