Global container carriers CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) today announced they will join TradeLens (www.tradelens.com), a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by A.P. Moller - Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM).
With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world's ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens. The addition of CMA CGM and MSC will provide a significant boost to the TradeLens vision of greater trust, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains to help promote global trade. The companies will promote TradeLens and create complementary services on top of the platform for their customers and partners.
"Digitization is a cornerstone of the CMA CGM Group's strategy to provide an end-to-end offer tailored to our customers' needs. We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation," said Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President, IT & Transformations, CMA CGM Group. "TradeLens' network is already showing that participants from across the supply chain ecosystem can derive significant value."
"Digital collaboration is a key to the evolution of the container shipping industry. The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards," said André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC. "We think that the TradeLens Advisory Board, as well as standards bodies such as the Digital Container Shipping Association, will help accelerate that effort."
TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secured, immutable record of transactions.
The attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited to 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 trusted data in real time.
With more than 100 participants on the platform today, TradeLens is already processing over ten million discrete shipping events and thousands of documents each week, providing shippers, carriers, freight forwarders, customs officials, port authorities, inland transportation providers, and others a common view of transactions, which can build trust. A commitment to data ownership rights and permissioned access to data helps ensure privacy and confidentiality while enabling users to collaborate more efficiently with real-time access to shipping data.
"The major advances IBM continues to make in blockchain illustrate that the technology is fostering new business models and playing an important role in how the world works" said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain, IBM. "More than a hundred participants have put their trust in the TradeLens network and are gaining greater transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods. Together we are advancing a shared aim to modernize the world's trading ecosystems."
CMA CGM and MSC to Play an Important Role in the TradeLens Network
CMA CGM and MSC will operate a blockchain node, participate in consensus to validate transactions, host data, and assume the critical role of acting as Trust Anchors, or validators, for the network. CMA CGM and MSC will be on the TradeLens Advisory Board which will include members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.
Supporting the Entire Shipping Supply Chain
"While carrier participation is critical, it is important to note that the TradeLens platform relies on participation from across the entire supply chain ecosystem," said Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer, A.P. Moller - Maersk. "Increasing ease of doing business for our customers and providing visibility across the container journey is at the center of the Maersk strategy. And TradeLens is all about that in its aim to transform the supply chain industry and provide value to all players, from freight forwarders, to ports and terminal operators and inland transportation providers, to customs and other governmental agencies, and ultimately to the customers themselves."
Beneficial cargo owners like Procter and Gamble will benefit from the addition of more carriers onto the platform.
"P&G ships a significant volume of ocean containers every year. Whether filled with our products or the materials used in production, understanding the status of our containers helps us manage an efficient supply chain. We are convinced that the industry will benefit from the transparency and accuracy of blockchain solutions and we are pleased to see MSC, CMA CGM, and Maersk all on the TradeLens platform. We have been testing TradeLens for the P&G business and see potential as the solution scales. We look forward to industry-wide adoption to benefit all network members," said Michelle Eggers, Director Global Logistics Purchases, P&G.