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IBM-Maersk Shipping Blockchain TradeLens Signs Up Two More Major Carriers

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
IBM-Maersk Shipping Blockchain TradeLens Signs Up Two More Major Carriers
Photo: Hapag-Lloyd / Twitter

Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE), the world’s fifth and sixth largest ocean carriers, signed onto TradeLens, the blockchain platform for ocean shipping founded by Maersk and IBM.

IBM decided to engage two major shipping carriers to join the blockchain platform it co-owns with container giant Maersk. Today the world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers companies Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) became the latest ocean carriers to join the TradeLens blockchain.

Let’s just say that they followed the example of top-five carriers CMA CGM and MSC, which joined TradeLens last month.

For a reminder, TradeLens was launched in early 2018 with just one other shipping carrier, Asia’s Pacific International Lines (PIL), 17th in the world based on cargo volumes. Last year, IBM’s TradeLens tried its best to sign up Maersk’s competitors.

For what it is known, TradeLens has 15 ocean carrier lines, including ZIM, KMTC, Safmarine, Sealand, Seaboard Marine, Namsung, Boluda and APL.

Vice president of sales at IBM Blockchain, Todd Scott, said that a lot of work went into getting the governance right, ensuring data privacy, publishing APIs, and aligning with common standards, known to the shipping and supply chain industry.

Noriaki Yamaga, Managing Director, Corporate & Innovation, Ocean Network Express said:

“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.

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.”

Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk commented:

“The addition of more leading carriers to TradeLens will help global supply chain customers expand and explore the benefits of digitization and deliver new opportunities to the increasing number of TradeLens ecosystem participants across the global supply chain.

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.”

Be it as it may, we are sure that the future of the platform came into question in November when nine major ocean carriers and terminal operators agreed to develop a blockchain platform called the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN).

Even though accompanying partners and ocean shipping stakeholders were important to the sector, wide visibility efforts, carriers are still the most important element since their data is what provides value to the other stakeholders. When GSBN launched, the network had more carriers signed on than TradeLens, including the third and fourth ranking lines in the world.

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