International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has signed onto the TradeLens platform to connect its global network of 31 container terminals.
Jointly developed by IBM and Maersk, the blockchain platform TradeLens will allow all ICTSI terminals permissioned access to accurate information on cargo movements well in advance of vessel arrivals.
Efficient asset planning for all entities involved can be achieved thanks near real time sharing of data through the network, creating end-to-end data visibility for container tracking.
ICTSI will manage a single global TradeLens connection through the state-of-the-art enterprise data platform.
Brian Hibbert, ICTSI’s vice president and chief information officer, said: “We are now testing the system and transferring information about loading and discharge of cargo, berthing of vessels to the blockchain platform.
“After complete integration of the system, we will be able to optimise work with regulatory authorities, improve our terminals’ visibility to what is coming to them as well as receive updates from the sea carriers online.”
The TradeLens eco system was first launched in 2018 and now includes more than 175 organisations – extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals.
It has already tracked 30m container shipments, 1.5bn events and roughly 13m published documents.
Thomas Sproat, TradeLens’ director of network development, said: “The broadening geographic scope of the platform is bolstered by the addition of ICTSI and provides new opportunities for TradeLens participants as the ecosystem continues to expand rapidly.
“We are excited to welcome ICTSI and eagerly await the creation of new ways of working for shippers and consignees that indirectly utilise their services.”
In addition to allowing carriers and cargo owners to exchange transactional information in real time, TradeLens also sends associated trade documents to permissioned parties.
Blockchain technology reduces the processing time of traditional paper documents, thus making it faster and easier to issue bills of lading for cargo, sanitary certificates, invoices for payment and other types of documentation.
This is especially important for terminals when considering hazardous cargo and potential efficiency gains in the terminal release and customs release process.