Internet of logistics moves a step closer with signing of GSBN shareholders agreement

The nine founding members of the CargoSmart-led Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) have signed a shareholders agreement as the pioneering blockchain grouping moves nearer to an official launch.

The group has set out to come up with shared digital solutions for the shipping industry. It features heavyweight names including 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.

“Once all regulatory approvals have been obtained and the GSBN is formed, it will lead the development of innovative applications to create value to stakeholders in the supply chain,” the group stated in a release today.

The GSBN will be established as a not-for-profit organisation that operates and facilitates a secure and trusted data exchange platform for all stakeholders along the supply chain. The consortium will nurture community participation and introduce a wide range of innovative services and applications to streamline operation processes and overall efficiency.

Martin Gnass, managing director IT at Hapag-Lloyd, commented, “The signed shareholders’ agreement symbolises an important milestone towards securing an industry-wide secured digital collaboration platform that aims to benefit all parties in the global supply chain. We expect the trusted blockchain platform will accelerate the sharing of verified logistics and cargo data, streamline business operations across the whole supply chain, and create value to each stakeholder.”

Ding Songbing, manager of strategy and research at SIPG, said, “Existing data exchange and practices in the shipping industry do not adequately address all terminal operational details, leading to missed opportunities to improve overall efficiency. With terminal operators being founding members of the blockchain platform, we believe the GSBN will capitalise on new and existing opportunities on the terminal side and expedite digital transformation in the industry.”

When the nine companies first mooted the concept of the blockchain network last year, Ho Ghim Siew, head of group commercial, strategy and cargo solutions at PSA International, encapsulated the endeavour, explaining: “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.”

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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