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CMA CGM, Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd and leading ports set out to create the internet of logistics

A host of top carriers and port groups have signed up to a CargoSmart-led new association designed to come up with shared digital solutions for the shipping industry.

The initial signatories to the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) are CMA CGM, Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, Port of Qingdao, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group with CargoSmart – now owned by Cosco – serving as the facilitator, providing software solutions and services.

Each signatory has committed to provide resources to support preparatory work required to establish the GSBN, a grouping that in a release out today describes itself as not-for-profit joint venture to accelerate the digital transformation of the shipping industry. The preparatory work includes obtaining all necessary regulatory, competition and antitrust approvals required for the establishment of the GSBN.

Rajesh Krishnamurthy, executive vice president at CMA CGM, commented, “The GSBN blockchain consortium provides us a concrete opportunity to bring greater value for our customers and the supply chain as a whole.”

Martin Gnass, managing director IT technology at Hapag-Lloyd, added, “Once it is established, the GSBN will work, with its JV structure and strong carrier and terminal participation, to increase efficiency in cross-network operation for the benefit of the various stakeholders in our industry.”

Upon its establishment, the GSBN intends to provide a platform for all shipping supply chain participants to work collaboratively to accelerate technology innovation and develop solutions through trusted and secure data exchange platforms.

The signatories stated in the release today that they believe that the GSBN can unlock underlying value and create new opportunities for all shipping supply chain participants in a more open and transparent way. While the current signatories are shipping lines and terminal operators, it is envisaged that other participants in the shipping industry will come onboard.

Upon its establishment, GSBN will aim to provide shipment visibility and transparency through a trusted data source. In addition to establishing a data governance framework, once it is formed the GSBN will also consider and lead the development of a roadmap of use cases, data access APIs and applications.

“Having an ethos of open architecture and good data governance among supply chain participants will go a long way towards building an internet of logistics. We believe this greater connectedness will benefit the supply chain and facilitate a more efficient and transparent future for global trade,” said Ho Ghim Siew, head of group commercial, strategy and cargo solutions at PSA International.

The companies involved aim to get GSBN up and running early next year.

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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