Yesterday saw Copenhagen-based Blockshipping, the creator of the Global Container Shipping Platform (GCSP), debut its public token sale with initial reports suggesting a very firm take-up for the company. The month long sale is targeted to get $24.8m in investments.
Blockshipping is creating a first real-time registry, using blockchain and sensors, to keep track of the 27m shipping containers in use around the world, as well as a platform to unite all container shipping stakeholders to allow for efficient transactions related to container handling all over the world. Blockshipping estimates that smarter handling of containers could save the industry $ 5.7bn a year.
The founder and CEO of Blockshipping, Peter Ludvigsen, who has been in the container industry for 39 years as a CIO for Maersk Line and a consultant for other shipping companies, tells Maritime CEO that the liner sector continues to suffer from certain key pain points, including poor utilisation of shipping containers leading to an inflated stock of containers, unnecessarily high empty container intermodal costs and container repositioning costs. They also suffer from old, antiquated systems with huge legacies with most showing little appetite to modernise.
In order to address these issues, Blockshipping’s new platform will give carriers real-time locations of every single container around the world.
“The goal within three to four years is to achieve a 60% market coverage with 16m container units in the GSCP blockchain registry,” says Ludvigsen.
Ludvigsen believes the container sector is ahead of other shipping sectors in adopting disruptive technologies, as the sector is able to achieve economy of scale benefits.
“A long-term vision of GSCP is that container carriers will not need to own their own containers in the future but can use the GSCP to ensure availability in completely the same way as if they were leased or owned. This will allow container carriers to offload significant financial assets tied up in containers,” says Ludvigsen.
The proceeds from this month’s sale – Scandinavia’s first shipping initial coin offering – will be used to fund the development of the GSCP platform as well as acquiring software and frameworks to be integrated into the platform.The team will also be exploring possibilities to implement the CCC token as a way to access the platform’s features and services in the future.
“I think there will be an increase of many new ICOs focusing on providing new innovative solutions for the shipping industry and the global supply chain. For the buyers of these token it is incredibly important to ensure that there is an underlying serious and robust business case supporting the ICO whitepaper,” Ludvigsen says.
Ludvigsen expects the company to become the primary blockchain registry and operational payments platform for the global container fleet by 2020.
“Traditionally, the shipping industry has a reputation for being rather conservative, but what I have experienced since the announcement of our GSCP project is anything but the traditional pushback on new business ideas. It has been like one unbroken series of positive dialogues with key players of all areas in the container shipping industry,” Ludvigsen concludes.
The Blockshipping board has a range of well known men from the liner industry, many with backgrounds at Maersk too, including Jesper Præstensgaard and Franck Kayser.