Livingston joins TradeLens blockchain shipping platform

The Tradelens platform is being piloted in Canada. ( Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves )

Livingston International has joined TradeLens, the blockchain shipping initiative developed by Maersk and IBM.

The Canadian customs broker and Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) member will take part in a pilot program involving the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Livingston will be responsible for inputting and accessing shipment information, and streamlining procedures.

“We are excited to work with Maersk, IBM, CBSA and other members of the TradeLens ecosystem on an initiative we believe will serve our industry well and provide transparency and security in the global movement of goods,” Craig Conway, Livingston’s chief operation officer, said in a statement on April 3.

Livingston, which was acquired by Platinum Equity in February, is the first customs broker to use the TradeLens platform.

The pilot program is exploring whether blockchain can improve the speed and quality of customs and commercial data while enhancing transparency.

“Livingston’s participation in this initiative allows us to analyze the impact of blockchain on the logistics process by bringing in the role of customs administration, which involves the submission, examination and storage of reams of data on a daily basis,” said Peter Patterson, Blockchain Leader for IBM Canada, in a statement.

The CBSA is evaluating the role that TradeLens can play in its operations in order to improve the flow of goods in and out of Canada.

“The TradeLens pilot gives us an opportunity to not only find process efficiencies and gain analytical insights, but improve data providence, accuracy and targeting capabilities,” CBSA president John Ossowski said in October 2018. The end result may be a faster and more reliable national supply chain, which could positively impact Canada’s economic output.”

Maersk and IBM launched TradeLens in 2018. It has more than 100 members, including carriers, third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, ports and terminal operators.

In Canada, the ports of Montreal and Halifax use the platform.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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