The Maersk-led data project TradeLens is expanding significantly with the addition of all 31 container terminals run by Philippines-based terminal operator ICTSI.
“We are now testing the system and transferring information about loading and discharge of cargo, berthing of vessels to the blockchain platform. After complete integration of the system, we will be able to optimize work with regulatory authorities, improve our terminals visibility to what is coming to them [and] receive updates from the sea carriers online,” said Brian Hibbert, VP, Chief Information Officer, ICTSI.
TradeLens gives all container freight stakeholders – shippers, forwarders, customs agencies, ports, ocean carriers and insurers – the same digital platform for document management and shipment tracking. It was developed jointly by Maersk and IBM. In addition to Maersk, prominent users include CMA CGM, MSC, DP World, Yilport and Standard Chartered. In total, it covers the shipments of 10 container carriers and 600 port and terminal facilities worldwide.
Using a cloud platform, TradeLens creates a near-real-time, permission-controlled, unified shipment data environment for its users. This allows them to track shipments as they move in transit and plan their resources accordingly. Meanwhile, participants’ data is secured and validated using IBM blockchain technology.
TradeLens says that its technology reduces the processing time for paperwork, making it faster and easier to issue bills of lading, sanitary certificates, invoices and other documentation. For terminal operators, this means the potential for faster terminal release and customs release processes. For shippers and forwarders, this is intended to translate into less back office workload.