More than 50 Latin American ports and terminals sign up to TradeLens

More than 50 Latin American ports and terminals sign up to TradeLens
Santos Brasil is one of the operators to sign up

More than 50 Latin American ports and terminals are working with TradeLens, the blockchain-based platform jointly developed by IBM and Maersk.

With five of the six largest container shipping lines on board, representing over half of global vessel capacity, it aims to enable collaboration among trading partners, generating more efficiency by digitising trade documentation flows.

The platform, which processes about 10m shipping ‘events’ every week, now includes Terminal Zárate, Terminal Puerto Rosario, Terminal de Buenaventura (TCBuen), Santos Brasil, Terminal Pacífico Sur (TPS) Valparaíso and San Vicente International Terminal (SVTI).

According to the IDB, about 90% of world trade has a port as its origin and destination and ECLAC indicates that in 2018 the activity of the main container ports in Latin America exceeded 53m teu.

Natalia de Greiff, VP of cloud and cognitive at IBM Latin America, stated: “Over the last decades the region has experienced a breakthrough in the operation of its ports, increasing operational efficiency by more than 20%. However, we are still far from more advanced countries.

“We are bringing TradeLens to our region to continue on this path of growth, using IBM Blockchain on IBM Cloud, and thus placing Latin America in the major leagues of world trade.”

Lars O Nielsen, president of Maersk Latin America and Caribbean, said: “Participation across our entire supply chain ecosystem is demonstrating the true value of the TradeLens digital platform.

“We have a strong foundation to build on for e.g. inland transportation providers, freight forwarders, customs and other government entities to join the ecosystem and explore the benefits of digitising Latin American trade flows.”

Regarding each facility’s reasons for joining the platform, Terminal Zárate is looking to generate greater agility, transparency and speed in access to information, as well as to generate insights about the data obtained for all maritime transport that passes through the port.

Terminal Puerto Rosario wants to use the blockchain network to monitor the load and unloading of containers while TCBuen aims to monitor cargo transactions and interact more efficiently through real-time access to data delivery documents including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

Santos Brasil, which operates one of the largest terminals in the Port of Santos, hopes to generate insights on the more than 1.6m teu that its Tecon Santos facility should operate in 2019.

TPS Valparaíso hopes to obtain a visible and short-term capacity of the data in a secure and fast access way while SVTI wants to exchange operational data between the different segments of the logistics chain, providing greater security, confidence and operation efficiency.

Martín Hagelstrom, blockchain executive for IBM Latin Americam, stated: “Our work with TradeLens and other companies in the global trade ecosystem such as terminals, government entities, inland transportation providers, customs, among others, has shown that blockchain is being used to form a strong and connected network in which all members earn by sharing important information, and together we can transform how trade is conducted throughout the region.”