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Hapag-Lloyd, ONE sign on for IBM-Maersk blockchain group

Five of the six largest ocean carriers now signed up for the TradeLens platform.

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

Hapag-Lloyd (FSE: HLAG) and Ocean Network Express (ONE) says they will join the TradeLens blockchain platform developed by Maersk (Nasdaq OMX: MAER.B)  and IBM (NYSE: IBM).

The fifth- and sixth-largest carriers respectively, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE join CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in using the platform. TradeLens now extends to more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo.

Martin Gnass, the head of information technology at Hapag-Lloyd, said the German carrier is joining TradeLens because of its significant progress in launching a much-needed transformation in the industry, including its partnership model, which provides the critical mass needed for blockchain to work.

“Expanding digital collaboration is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry,” Gnass said. “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.”

With the addition of Hapag-Lloyd and ONE, TradeLens will have access to major carriers in all three of the major vessel sharing alliances. Noriaki Yamaga, managing director for ONE, said the open standards and open governance of TradeLens will be critical to meet the demands of the Asian market.

“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,” Yamaga said.   

Hapag-Lloyd and ONE will each operate a blockchain node, validate transactions, host data and assume a role as validators. Both companies will be represented on the TradeLens Advisory Board, which includes members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.

TradeLens’ purpose is to digitally connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Ocean carriers, forwarders and shippers can gain a comprehensive view of their data and collaborate as cargo moves around the world. 

“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,” said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer at Maersk.