Major global container carriers CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Thursday (Oct 15) announced they are now integrated onto TradeLens (www.tradelens.com), helping ensure a more fully integrated, timely and consistent view of logistics data for their containerized freight around the world. The digital platform is run on IBM Cloud (NYSE:IBM) and IBM Blockchain, and was jointly developed by IBM and A.P. Moller - Maersk (MAERSKb.CO).
These two global shipping leaders, together with Maersk, will act as platform foundation carriers with a role in expanding the ecosystem and platform operations, including playing key roles as validators on the blockchain network.
The addition of these two major global shipping leaders marks a crucial milestone for the industry, which until now has too often relied on paper-based trade and manual document handling that lead to increased costs and reduced business continuity. Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM and IBM, together with the expanding TradeLens network of terminals, customs authorities and 3PL and intermodal providers, are ushering in a transformation designed to benefit all network participants by making it easier to quickly and more reliably share documents and shipping data and digitally collaborate.
“Digitization is a cornerstone of the CMA CGM Group’s strategy aimed at providing an end-to-end solution tailored to our customers’ needs. An industry-wide collaboration like this is truly unprecedented. Only by working together and agreeing to a shared set of standards and goals are we able to enact the digital transformation that is now touching nearly every part of the global shipping industry,” said Marc Bourdon, CMA CGM Senior Vice President, Commercial Agencies Network.
This completes a digital transformation that has taken more than a year, requiring considerable investment in new API capabilities. An important milestone in the process was a 15-customer pilot involving more than 3,000 unique consignments, 100,000 events and 6,000 containers to ensure the TradeLens platform distributes and shares shipment data across various supply chains with speed and accuracy.
TradeLens members use the platform to connect within the ecosystem and share information needed for their shipments based on permissions, without sharing sensitive data. TradeLens makes it possible to access data from the source in near real-time, boosts the quality of information, provides a comprehensive view of data as cargo moves around the world, and helps create a more timely, secured record of transactions. Launched in 2018, the TradeLens ecosystem now includes more than 175 organizations – extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals. Already it has tracked 30 million container shipments, 1.5 billion events and roughly 13 million published documents.
For customers, the addition of CMA CGM and MSC in production can result in fewer data gaps as they do business with multiple carriers. Additionally, other members such as ports, terminals, authorities and intermodal providers can benefit from the ability to use permissioned data sharing to provide a comprehensive view of freight moving around the world. Terminal operators who use TradeLens to improve yard planning will now also be able to access far more comprehensive data for processing multi-carrier vessels.
“TradeLens is an important initiative in the digitalization of global shipping and logistics, with the potential to help carriers and their customers to increase transparency and reduce errors and delays, all at a crucial time when the industry is re-thinking and improving the resiliency of supply chains,” said Andre Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. “By completing the integration, we can now begin showing our customers and business partners how they can create and see value from the platform, and we hope that many of them will join it, creating an even larger and more beneficial ecosystem.”
Now that they are live on the platform, MSC and CMA CGM are promoting TradeLens capabilities and membership to their clients and business partners across all major geographies.
As TradeLens continuously scales, other recent additions of new ports and terminals include the Commercial Port of Vladivostock, DP World, PT Salam Pacific Indonesia Lines (SPIL), Portbase, QTerminals and Hamad Port, SSA Marine’s Manzanillo International Terminal - Panama (MIT-Panama), Shipwaves, South Asia Gateway Terminals and Yilport Holding.