Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE) are to join TradeLens, giving the blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform developed by Maersk and IBM a considerable boost.
The world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers respectively join CMA CGM and MSC, which both recently announced they are joining TradeLens.
With these additions, the scope of the platform now extends to more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo.
Martin Gnass, managing director of IT at Hapag-Lloyd, said: “Expanding digital collaboration is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry. TradeLens has made significant progress in launching a much-needed transformation in the industry, including its partnership model.
“Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, not to mention many other ecosystem participants, we can collectively accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade.”
The new additions mean that TradeLens customers have access to major carriers in all three leading global vessel sharing alliances on the platform.
Noriaki Yamaga, managing director of corporate and innovation at ONE, stated: “We believe this innovative approach based on open standards and open governance can benefit the entire industry while ultimately benefitting our customers who rely on the world’s shipping industry to transport global container volume of more than 120m teu across international borders each year.”
The platform’s developers hope it will ease the costly processes for transporting and trading goods, particularly those related to manual and paper-based systems.
Replacing these peer-to-peer and sometimes unreliable information exchanges, the platform aims to enable participants to digitally connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem.
Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “As a neutral industry platform, TradeLens offers supply chain visibility, ease of documentation and the potential of introducing new products on top of the platform.
“These attributes bring new opportunities for the Maersk transformation towards becoming an end-to-end container logistics company improving the experience and services we offer the customers.”
Blockchain’s advocates believe that its attributes are ideally suited for large networks of disparate partners. The technology establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and enables permissioned parties access to secured data in real time.
Hapag-Lloyd and ONE will each operate a blockchain node, participate in consensus to validate transactions, host data, and assume a critical role of acting as Trust Anchors, or validators, for the network.
Both companies will be represented on the TradeLens Advisory Board, which will include members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.