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TradeLens expands to China

TradeLens, the blockchain platform developed by AP Moller - Maersk and IBM, has partnered with China Unicom Digital Tech for its official commercialisation in China.

The subsidiary of the global telecommunication service provider China Unicom will host and operate TradeLens in the Chinese Mainland, making it available to global exporters and importers in China, along with other supply chain partners.

Maersk estimates that one in three export containers is from China and one in six import containers is imported into China. As a result, the partnership connects the world's second-largest economy to the TradeLens platform, further enhancing the network coverage of TradeLens global services.

Haifeng Chen, president of China Unicom Internet of Things (IoT) research institute and vice president of China Unicom Digital Tech commented that "as a major use case in the critical digital transformation period, the upgrade towards digital shipping and logistics industry will facilitate the country to build the dual circulation development pattern."

Chen added that the collaboration with TradeLens, may optimise China's strengths on cyber security, including data and transactional security. Leveraging IoT, blockchain and other technologies the country can achieve logistics service standardisation, visibility and intelligence, and build a connected, trusted and highly efficient network.

TradeLens brings together data from the entire global supply chain ecosystem including shippers, ocean carriers, terminal operators and intermodals, aiming to replace manual and paper-based documents with blockchain-enabled digital solutions in order to facilitate digital value transfer and "improve the efficiency of customer supply chains," said Xin Li, vice president, industry business development, IBM Greater China Group.

Launched in 2018, the TradeLens ecosystem now includes direct integrations with more than 300 organisations, extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals.

Moreover, the blockchain platform has already tracked over 35 million container shipments, close to 2 billion events and roughly 16 million published documents. "The industry has reached another important milestone with TradeLens now live in China, an economy at the centre of the world’s largest trade lanes," said Caroline Wu, managing director of Greater China, AP Moller - Maersk, who added, "TradeLens will provide new tools to facilitate industry innovation and help our customers accelerate their digital agendas."

"The growing interest in TradeLens from Chinese companies is a strong indication of how the growing complexity in the container shipping industry demands the use of advanced technologies such as blockchain and hybrid cloud to drive greater efficiency in the highly dynamic market," noted Xin Li.

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