Nine of the 40 companies involved in the logistics platform CargoSmart, which was launched in 2000, have signed an agreement to develop a more collaborative platform called Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN).
The nine companies, which include three COSCO operators in COSCO Shipping Lines, OOCL and COSCO Ports, along with European lines Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM and Chinese port operators Qingdao, Hutchison Ports and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), as well as PSA announced the agreement on 27 February.
The companies’ statement said the signing of the co-operation agreement, “symbolised the fortified co-operation among the consortium as well as the conclusion of an important step towards the GSBN’s official establishment.”
Ding Songbing, Manager of Strategy & Research Department of SIPG, said, said that existing platforms fail to adequately address all terminal operational details and as a result there have been missed opportunities to improve efficiency.
“With terminal operators being founding members of the blockchain platform, we believe the GSBN will capitalize on new and existing opportunities on the terminal side and expedite digital transformation in the industry,” he added.
Blockchain consortium eTradeConnect^, which is facilitated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) was a part of one of the of proof-of-concept projects undertaken by CargoSmart in preparation for the development of GSBN.
Martin Gnass, MD IT at Hapag-Lloyd, believes the shareholders’ agreement is a symbol of the growing digital collaboration in the maritime sector. “We expect the trusted blockchain platform will accelerate the sharing of verified logistics and cargo data, streamline business operations across the whole supply chain, and create value to each stakeholder,” he added.