HONG KONG, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has incorporated in Hong Kong after securing the requisite regulatory approvals across multiple jurisdictions, and has officially started its operations to help accelerate the Digital Transformation of the Shipping industry. GSBN has been established on a not-for-profit basis to enable stakeholders involved in global trade to increase delivery reliability, streamline operations, and embrace digital transformation. Its shareholders are comprised of major global Carriers and Terminal Operators: COSCO SHIPPING LINES, COSCO SHIPPING PORTS, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group.
COVID-19 and Digital Transformation of the Shipping Industry
Over the last year, the pandemic has demonstrated the world’s interdependence and the importance of global trade. Widespread production shutdowns in various countries had unpredictable effects on major businesses’ supply chains across all sectors. Lockdowns and the following explosive growth in e-commerce business have pushed the industry as a whole to its limits.
GSBN’s vision is to enable and accelerate the digital transformation of the shipping industry, through the setup of a secure Data Exchange Platform, which will enable the shipping industry to improve its resilience by:
- Facilitating better digital connection and collaboration between stakeholders
- Improving the visibility to enhance sustainability and reliability of operations
- Creating a data utility platform to unlock the value of digital transformation for all
Martin Gnass, Managing Director IT of Hapag-Lloyd, said, “The foundation of GSBN symbolizes an important milestone towards establishing an industry-wide, secure, digital collaboration platform that aims to benefit all parties in the global supply chain. GSBN will accelerate the sharing of verified logistics and cargo data, streamline business operations across the whole supply chain, and create value to each stakeholder.”
A Data Exchange Platform built with ease of use, access control, and a sustainable economic model in mind.
Leveraging Blockchain technology, GSBN will provide a platform, which enables its users to exchange first party, real-time, and trusted logistics data. The platform will provide a better user experience, enabling industry players to interact with data and redefine legacy processes. For example, many industry stakeholders still rely on manual processes or traditional EDIs instead of APIs for some of their most critical tasks.
Additionally, the platform has strong data governance, to ensure that only authorised parties are granted access rights to view and use the data. Data submitted to GSBN’s platform are fully encrypted with private keys, and the data access rights are managed at the data field level. Enhanced data security measures will also ensure commercially sensitive information is protected against unauthorised or inappropriate disclosure or use.
GSBN has also been set up on a not-for-profit basis so that it can economically motivate each member to participate and contribute high quality data. In the future, GSBN will establish a framework with all stakeholders to share the benefit derived from data products built on top of the platform using their data.
Ho Ghim Siew, Head of Group Commercial, Strategy and Cargo Solutions, PSA International, said, “The ability to collaborate in a trusted and secure manner is key for us to fully realise the opportunities from our increasingly digital and interdependent world. The GSBN platform will allow stakeholders and industry players to share timely information to facilitate downstream transactions and activities, with the assurance that their data is protected by strong data governance structures. PSA International is excited to be part of GSBN’s incorporation milestone. We look forward to co-creating innovative solutions with industry players through the GSBN platform, and generating new value for cargo owners and supply chain stakeholders.”
Product Roadmap and Network to Network connection
During the preparatory phase of GSBN, the founding members have conducted various proofs of concept in China and Southeast Asia to demonstrate the value of products built on top of the platform. As a result, GSBN intends to pursue the deployment of “Cargo Release” as its first product. During an initial pilot this product was very well received by a wide range of customers, within the context of the pandemic, as it allowed a “no touch” process for a traditionally very manual and time consuming cargo release process.
Another successful proof of concept relates to using shipping data to empower trade finance. As global trade does not rely only on logistics but also on trade financing, GSBN intends to establish network to network connection with trade finance (banks and other fintechs), to provide a better user experience for the ultimate customer.
Only by collaborating with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in global trade, can the value of digitalisation be truly unlocked. GSBN invites interested parties to partner with it on creating new data products for the whole industry.
“We are excited to share with our partners our experience with innovative blockchain-based products. Such digital products have helped our customers cut down their costs as they incorporate them into their existing processes. As an example, the Cargo Release pilot has enabled hundreds of our customers to eliminate their current manual steps and remove the need for any physical exchanges of paper documents. This not only reduced the overall time from 2-3 days to 1-2 hours, but also provided health benefits with regard to COVID-19. With the establishment of GSBN, we are keen to work with all the stakeholders to further develop digital products, fully leverage the blockchain technology and offer more digital services to improve customer experience,” Kenny Ye, Deputy Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Lines and COO of OOCL, said.
“Here to simplify trade for all” and Membership
Many industries have been disrupted by the emergence of new technologies, which enable the exploration of new business models, tapping into data and leveraging software to enhance the customer experience. The shipping industry has been looking at digital transformation for years, but there has been no reliable way to bring everyone together in a secure, neutral, trusted, and equitable way. Until now.
Bertrand Chen, Chief Executive Officer, Global Shipping Business Network, said: “I am grateful for the trust our Shareholders have put in me to head up this new and exciting business venture. We will build a diverse, multi-cultural, and innovative team to collaborate with stakeholders across regions and industries, from logistics service providers to financial institutions. We aim to increase the speed of logistics and the ease of conducting trade globally, ultimately benefitting all parties involved. We are here to simplify trade for all.”
GSBN will open its membership in the coming months. There will be a multiple tier membership scheme linked to different data volume commitment, participation in early release of new products and other associated privileges. For more details, please visit www.gsbn.trade.
Technology Solution Partner – IQAX Limited
To support GSBN’s vision, IQAX will be the technology provider, taking over from its business affiliate CargoSmart, to manage the GSBN platform from end to end.