Hong Kong-incorporated technology consortium Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has rolled out its first blockchain-enabled application, Cargo Release, in China.
Cargo Release harnesses blockchain technology and offers a paperless, transparent solution connecting everyone involved at the port of import, including shipping lines, consignees, their agents, and terminals. By eliminating the need for paper, it simplifies data exchange and shortens operation time among parties with real-time updates, cutting the time for cargo to be ready for release from days to a matter of hours, GSBN explained.
The rollout is particularly timely given the current high demand and pressure on supply chains. Cargo Release has already been deployed in the real world by industry leaders Cosco Shipping Lines, OOCL and SIPG. Hapag-Lloyd will also participate in a pilot in Q3 2021.
Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said: “Like the early days of cloud technology, the shipping industry is on the cusp of an exciting revolution where major efficiencies will be unlocked, and significant value will be created. This announcement is a milestone for global trade as this sector steps into the next digital era. The deployment of Cargo Release in China is of major significance as one of the most important markets for import and export in the world. This is just the beginning as we scale up and launch into new markets later in the year.”
The adoption of blockchain technology is a part of China’s push to digitally upgrade its industries, including logistics and supply chains. The country’s ministry of transport is already rolling out its Chang Xing Program to digitise the ports and shipping industry in collaboration with carriers and members of GSBN.
GSBN is jointly established by major shipping lines and terminal operators, including Cosco Shipping Lines, Cosco Shipping Ports, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group.