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Hapag-Lloyd and ONE Join Ocean Carriers Embracing Blockchain

The global shipping supply chain is taking blockchain technology to new levels as more carriers join the TradeLens platform jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM.

Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE), the world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers, respectively, said Tuesday they will adopt TradeLens in their operations. They join CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, both of which recently announced they are joining TradeLens and founder Maersk. With these additions, the scope of the platform now extends to more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo.

“Expanding digital collaboration is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry,” said Martin Gnass, managing director of information technology at Hapag-Lloyd. “TradeLens has made significant progress in launching a much-needed transformation in the industry, including its partnership model. Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, not to mention many other ecosystem participants, we can collectively accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade.”

TradeLens said the addition of the two global carriers will help drive further adoption of the technology around the world. With an already significant presence in Asia, ONE is further strengthening and expanding its coverage through joint cooperation with TradeLens to help meet the challenging demands of the crucial Asia market.

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“We believe this innovative approach based on open standards and open governance can benefit the entire industry, while ultimately benefitting our customers who rely on the world’s shipping industry to transport global container volume of more than 120 million TEU [20-foot containers or equivalent units] across international borders each year,” Noriaki Yamaga, managing director of corporate and innovation at ONE, said. “The opportunities to drive greater innovation across the shipping supply chain are enormous and we are excited about the opportunity to provide our leadership and insight to help the platform continue to evolve.”

TradeLens was launched to help modernize the world’s supply chain ecosystems. With many of the processes for transporting and trading goods proving costly owed to manual and paper-based systems, the platform instead enables participants to digitally connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem.

“The addition of more leading carriers to TradeLens will help global supply chain customers expand and explore the benefits of digitization, and deliver new opportunities to the increasing number of TradeLens ecosystem participants across the global supply chain,” Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said. “As a neutral industry platform, TradeLens offers supply chain visibility, ease of documentation and the potential of introducing new products on top of the platform. These attributes bring new opportunities for the Maersk transformation toward becoming an end-to-end container logistics company, improving the experience and services we offer the customers.”

Hapag-Lloyd and ONE will each operate a blockchain node, participate in consensus to validate transactions, host data and assume a critical role of acting as trust anchors, or validators, for the network. Both companies will be represented on the TradeLens Advisory Board that will include members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.

With a fleet of 235 modern container ships and a transport capacity of 1.7 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the Transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and Intra-America trades.

ONE has a fleet size of approximately 1.55 million TEU, operating more than 210 vessels.