Global container carriers CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have completed the integration process with the blockchain TradeLens, a joint initiative of IBM and Maersk. The top five container shippers announced their partnership with the digital network in May 2019. However, to date, all transactions on the platform have been pilot.
Now that they are in TradeLens, MSC and CMA CGM plan to make data from all their containers available to authorized parties, which should increase the use of the network. IBM says the addition of the two carriers means that data on almost half of the world's ocean container cargo will be available on a single blockchain-based platform.
"Only by working together and agreeing on a shared set of standards and goals can we implement the digital transformation that is now reaching almost every part of the global shipping industry," said Marc Bourdon, SVP of CMA CGM.
The integration process took more than a year and the integration involved the development of new API features. One of the pilots involved 15 customers with more than 3,000 shipments, 100.000 events and 6.000 containers.
Ledger Insights asked IBM about the status of other partner carriers announced. In addition to Maersk, ZIM completed the integration earlier this year. Hapag-Lloyd and ONE are still in the integration process, and IBM did not respond about Pacific International Lines (PIL), which ran an electronic bill of lading test with IBM 18 months ago. Since then, PIL has announced its participation in the Singapore-based GeTS platform, which has its Open Trade Blockchain.
However, the integration of CMA CGM and MSC is an important milestone in the platform's history. Both companies will join Maersk and IBM as TradeLens validators, meaning that "they will have dedicated blockchain nodes against which encrypted data can be validated to ensure authenticity as original documents in good faith issued by each of these operators ". IBM confirmed that they are the only validators other than IBM and Maersk.
In addition, CMA CGM and MSC will promote TradeLens resources and membership to their customers and business partners worldwide, which should further expand the network.
Both shipping companies were also recently involved in a pilot with the port of Rotterdam to use blockchain tokens to authorize the release of containers to transport drivers.