DP World has joined eight leading ocean carriers and terminal operators in forming a Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an open digital platform based on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology.
DP World signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, Yang Ming, Hutchison Ports, PSA International and Shanghai International Port and software solutions provider, CargoSmart.
According to a joint statement, the new platform aims to connect various stakeholders, including carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers and logistics service providers, to enable collaborative innovation and digital transformation in the supply chain.
“The container shipping industry is often characterised by disparate processes that take place across both physical and digital domains,” the statement said. “Companies are increasingly looking towards digital technologies to resolve siloed shipment management procedures and disruptive information gaps. The consortium will offer a forum to address these challenges, explore cross-industry opportunities, and empower future innovation and insights.”
The consortium’s members intend to work collaboratively to develop the platform and establish standards to facilitate the seamless sharing of documents and data across all stages of the shipping lifecycle.
The GSBN blockchain consortium believes it has the potential to enable faster, more accurate processing of cargo information and more transparency of terminal operations to cargo owners.
With US $53-billion worth of trade between the UAE and China (according to state news agency WAM’s statistics for 2017), with much of it transiting through DP World’s Jebel Ali Port, the consortium stands to benefit shippers significantly.
GSBN is expected to provide the foundation for new applications that can transform documentation flow for shipment management including dangerous goods documents, invoices, and cargo release.
The first planned application will allow shippers to digitise and organise their dangerous goods documents and automatically connect with relevant parties to streamline the approval process. The application is scheduled to be available in December 2018.