DP World is one of a group of nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operators that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a consortium to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an open digital platform based on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology. As well as the Dubai-based global terminal operator, participants include CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, Yang Ming, Hutchison Ports, PSA International and Shanghai International Port, as well as the software solutions provider, CargoSmart. The new platform aims to connect various stakeholders, including carriers, terminal operators, customs agencies, shippers and logistics service providers, to enable collaborative innovation and digital transformation in the supply chain.
According to a statement: “The container shipping industry is often characterised by disparate processes that take place across both physical and digital domains. Companies are increasingly looking towards digital technologies to resolve siloed shipment management procedures and disruptive information gaps. The consortium will offer a forum to address these challenges, explore cross-industry opportunities, and empower future innovation and insights.” The consortium’s members intend to work collaboratively to develop the platform and establish standards to facilitate the seamless sharing of documents and data across all stages of the shipping lifecycle.
The GSBN blockchain consortium believes it has the potential to enable faster, more accurate processing of cargo information and more transparency of terminal operations to cargo owners. The collaboration brings together major industry players who strive to develop an open digital platform that will deliver efficiency gains and reduce costs of transactions.
GSBN is expected to provide the foundation for new applications that can transform documentation flow for shipment management including dangerous goods documents, invoices, and cargo release. The first planned application will allow shippers to digitise and organise their dangerous goods documents and automatically connect with relevant parties to streamline the approval process. The application is scheduled to be available in December 2018.