Hapag-Lloyd and One join IBM blockchain platform
July 9, 2019
German firm Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (One) have joined the TradeLens blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by AP Moller-Maersk and IBM.
Hapag-Lloyd and One, the world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers respectively, join CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, both of which recently announced they were joining TradeLens. With these additions, the scope of the platform now extends to more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo.
“Expanding digital collaboration is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry,” said Martin Gnass, managing director of information technology at Hapag-Lloyd. “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 addition of these two global carriers should help drive further adoption of TradeLens around the world now that its customers have access to major carriers in all three leading global vessel sharing alliances on the platform. With an already significant presence in Asia, One is further strengthening and expanding its coverage through joint cooperation with TradeLens to help meet the demands of the Asia market.
“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 120 million TEU across international borders each year,” said Noriaki Yamaga, managing director of One. “The opportunities to drive greater innovation across the shipping supply chain are enormous and we are excited about the opportunity to provide our leadership and insight to help the platform continue to evolve.”
TradeLens was launched to help modernise the world’s supply chain ecosystems. Many of the processes for transporting and trading goods are costly, in part due to manual and paper-based systems. Replacing these peer-to-peer and often unreliable information exchanges, the platform enables participants to connect digitally, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem.
“The addition of more leading carriers to TradeLens will help global supply chain customers expand and explore the benefits of digitisation and deliver new opportunities to the increasing number of TradeLens ecosystem participants across the global supply chain,” said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer of AP Moller - Maersk. “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.”
Members of TradeLens gain a comprehensive view of their data and can collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secured, immutable record of transactions.
The attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited for large networks of disparate partners. Blockchain 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.
“Blockchain for the enterprise is solving previously unsolvable problems,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM. “Through improved trust, simplicity and improved insight into provenance, blockchain solutions such as TradeLens are delivering proven value across business processes for our clients and their ecosystems. Massive new efficiencies in global trade are now possible and we’re seeing similar effects across the food industry, mining, trade finance, banking and other industries where the value of blockchain is more apparent than ever before."
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.