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CMA CGM and MSC join TradeLens as foundation carriers

CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have joined the Maersk/IBM created TradeLens blockchain platform as so-called foundation carriers.

“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 stated in a release yesterday.

“Digitisation 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, a senior vice president at CMA CGM.

TradeLens partners provided an update yesterday on developments at the blockchain platform over the last 12 months. An important milestone discussed 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.

Launched in 2018, the TradeLens ecosystem now includes more than 175 organisations – extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals.

“TradeLens is an important initiative in the digitalisation 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, MSC’s global chief digital and information officer. “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.”

As TradeLens scales up, 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.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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