According to a press release from Maersk, TradeLens – the IBM and Maersk developed Blockchain powered platform – is set to launch in Russia.
Tradelens Expected To Offer Improved Transparency In The Trade And Logistics Processes
Going by the press release, which was published on the 6th of June, Maersk has come to an agreement with Russian authorities on having the platform operating within the country. According to the Denmark-based shipping giant, the platform will first be launched as a pilot project at the port of St. Petersburg, the main container gateway in the country.
The TradeLens platform enables participants within the logistics industry to collectively see the shipping transactions data. The participating firms act as nodes, supporting the Blockchain based system. By moving into Russia, Maersk has stated that the project will be looking to make communication between administrative and regulatory bodies and the shipping companies possible. With increased interactions, moving goods across borders will be much easier and the clearance of cargo will be much faster.
During the signing of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which took place last week, the head of Federal Maritime and River transport Agency and deputy transport minister Yuriy Tsvetkov said that the country is hoping to greatly benefit from this new collaboration. According to Tsvetkov, by implementing the project, the country is expecting to see a greater transparency in the process of contracting. Through the platform a shared view of the supply and demand distribution information, operations and conditions of the interactions between the various players within the transport and logistics industry will be possible.
The Platform’s Challenges In Attracting Participants
Through this agreement with the Russian authorities, TradeLens gains entry into the market with the purpose of providing digital documentation flow in a space whose processes are largely utilizing paper trails.
The chief executive of Maersk GTD, and head of TradeLens, Mike White has said that the platform will be providing full transparency on the movement of cargo while at the same time facilitating a seamless and safe sharing of supply chain information. He added that the information provided will be in real time and from all participating firms.
TradeLens has had a tough time trying to convince major shipping companies to come on board. The main area of concern for most possible participants was that the platform is owned by the founding companies. Most possible participants are looking to come in on an equal footing which has seen the platform make changes to its business structure. Since making these changes, TradeLens has seen two major carriers joining the platform.
50% Of The Global Marine Cargo Now Tracked By TradeLens
With the entry of the two major shipping carriers i.e. MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), the second largest shipping company in the world, and CMA CGM, currently fourth when it comes to cargo carrying capacity, the platform now tracks half of the world’s marine cargo. According to Maersk, the platform currently has over 100 participants and processes more than ten million shipping events with documents numbering in the thousands each week.