Digital Solutions in Shipping: Major Carriers integrate onto TradeLens

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Data on nearly half of the world's ocean container cargo is now available on TradeLens as global shipping leaders CMA CGM and MSC are actively sharing information through the blockchain-based data platform (Image Courtesy: Maersk)

Global container carriers CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) today announced they are now integrated onto TradeLens (www.tradelens.com), helping ensure a more fully integrated, timely and consistent view of logistics data for their containerized freight around the world.

TradeLens was jointly developed by IBM and A.P. Moller – Maersk. Together with Maersk, CMA and MSC will act as platform foundation carriers with a role in expanding the ecosystem and platform operations, including playing key roles as validators on the blockchain network.

The boost to the digital platform comes as Maersk customers are increasingly embracing digital solutions. Driven partly by the effects of social distancing during the global pandemic, customers have turned to the Maersk App nearly trebling the number of transactions in 2020 – from a 70.000/week average in January 2020 to 194.000/week average since June. Similarly, transactions on Maersk.com – one of the world’s largest B2B-sites with almost 20bn USD revenue – are up by 20-25% year to date.

“The TradeLens ecosystem is gaining momentum at a time where customers and supply chain stakeholders increasingly turn to digital and online solutions. They see the value of digital products and platforms in keeping their supply chains flowing during full or partial lockdowns which complicate traditional manual and physical ways of interaction between stakeholders in the logistics value chain. In a world now where resilience is king, TradeLens has an important role to play in terms of providing supply chain resilience and in increasing the customer experience through increased visibility, “ said Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean & Logistics, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Crucial Milestone

The addition of CMA CGM and MSC 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, MSC, CMA CGM and IBM, together with the expanding TradeLens network of terminals, customs authorities and 3PL and intermodal providers, are ushering in a transformation designed to benefit all network participants by making it easier to quickly and more reliably share documents and shipping data and digitally collaborate.

This completes a digital transformation that has taken more than a year, requiring considerable investment in new API capabilities. An important milestone in the process 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. TradeLens makes it possible to access data from the source in near real-time, boosts the quality of information, provides a comprehensive view of data as cargo moves around the world, and helps create a timelier, secured record of transactions. Launched in 2018, the TradeLens ecosystem now includes more than 175 organizations – extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals. Already it has tracked 30 million container shipments, 1.5 billion events and roughly 13 million published documents.

For customers, the addition of CMA CGM and MSC in production can result in fewer data gaps as they do business with multiple carriers. Additionally, other members such as ports, terminals, authorities and intermodal providers can benefit from the ability to use permissioned data sharing to provide a comprehensive view of freight moving around the world. Terminal operators who use TradeLens to improve yard planning will now also be able to access far more comprehensive data for processing multi-carrier vessels.

As TradeLens continuously scales, 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.

Sea News Feature, October 19

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra