Standard Chartered has become the first bank to join TradeLens, the global shipping blockchain platform created by IBM and Danish logistics giant Maersk.
The London-based bank announced its decision on March 10, with global head of trade, Michael Spiegel, stating that digital ecosystems such as TradeLens have the potential to promote the sustainability agenda of many international trade stakeholders.
Millions of Supply Chain Events Each Week
TradeLens is a global supply chain solution with a focus on containerized freight and logistics, first launched back in April 2018 by IBM and Maersk. It operates by providing standard-based open APIs that allow for the immutable tracking and sharing of supply chain data using a permitted blockchain.
Standard Chartered as a participant institution will be able to validate the authenticity of shipments in real time using documents that are securely exchanged between networked entities.
Before embarking on its first bank this week, TradeLens ‘ 150 + members included international port and terminal operators, ocean carriers and intermodal providers, customs, freight forwarders, logistics firms, government agencies and cargo owners.
It is reported that the platform has processed data on more than 15 million containers worldwide to date, capturing millions of supply chain events and tens of thousands of documents every week. TradeLens is using the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor data in combination with blockchain to monitor a range of variables, from temperature control to container weight.
Aarthi Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer of Trade for Singapore and South East Asia at Standard Chartered, and Global Head of Trade Operations, stated in a statement:
“The trade ecosystem has complex processes, slow turnaround times, high paper-based manual documentation and limited connectivity between the various parties involved and it remains a major pain point in the centuries-old trade finance industry.”
Indonesia’s customs department had become the 11th government agency to join the TradeLens consortium as announced last February — joining existing participant customs authorities from, among others, Thailand, Azerbaijan and Canada.
On the same month, the U.S. An antitrust exemption had been granted by the Federal Maritime Commission to five U.S .- based TradeLense consortium members to share data on events in the American supply chain.