Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Big Three in Container Freight Cuddle Closer as Shipping Lines Club Together

New Technologies Mean Nobody Wants to Get Left Behind
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – DENMARK — WORLDWIDE – Maersk has announced that it will be joining CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) as a key shareholder and customer of Traxens, a French start-up company providing high-value data and services for the supply chain industry. Separately, CMA CGM and MSC have announced that they will join TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. The three shipping lines are the biggest container freight carriers in the world by a stretch.

Founded in 2012, Traxens has been developing solutions for the cargo logistics sector and has created an innovative container monitoring and coordination solution. CMA CGM first invested in the start-up in 2012 and was later joined in 2016 by MSC. The agreement will see Maersk invest capital in Traxens, in which it will have similar shareholder rights as CMA CGM and MSC. Maersk also commits to order up to 50,000 Traxens devices, a similar order to those placed earlier by CMA CGM and MSC. Jacques Delort, General Manager of Traxens, commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Maersk among our backers alongside CMA CGM and MSC. Having three of the world’s largest shipping companies now supporting us, this will help accelerate our international development and contribute to our solution becoming a global market standard for the entire supply chain.”

Traxens says that it can now further focus on strengthening its solution and drive interoperability based on non-proprietary technologies and open standards. The development of Traxens as an open industry solution will look to benefit the strategic ambition of digitising the container shipping industry. Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard, Vice President, Head of Equipment, AP Moller - Maersk, said:

“Creating visibility into the condition and location of containerised cargo is bringing Maersk’s strategy to offer digital end-to-end solutions to life. Having pioneered IoT-technology in our reefer fleet, we are excited to join Traxens and collaborate on the huge potential within connected containers. With this investment we look forward to working with key industry players to advance a leading solution within connected products and technologies for high value cargo, while ensuring customer choice through interoperability and open standards.”

Traxens’ solution addresses key challenges in the shipping industry faced by both vessel owners and cargo owners. With the combination of telematics and smart data processing, vessel owners can control costs and develop more agile business problem solving, while cargo owners can easily keep track of their containers, bringing improved business processes and decision-making capabilities.

Reduced operational costs, improved supply chain efficiency, enhanced security and the opportunity to extend offerings to customers are amongst the key benefits claimed through Traxens’ smart solutions. The whole shipping ecosystem, including ports, freight forwarders, insurance and financial institutions, may also benefit from the value-added data gathered by Traxens’ cutting-edge technology.

Just when you thought the shipping industry couldn’t get more insular, CMA CGM and MSC will join the Maersk’s blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed in collaboration with computing giant IBM

With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world's ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens. The addition of CMA CGM and MSC will look to provide a significant boost to the TradeLens vision of greater trust, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains to help promote global trade. The companies will promote TradeLens and create complementary services on top of the platform for their customers and partners. Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President, IT & Transformations, CMA CGM Group, commented:

"Digitisation is a cornerstone of the CMA CGM Group's strategy to provide an end-to-end offer tailored to our customers' needs. We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation. TradeLens' network is already showing that participants from across the supply chain ecosystem can derive significant value."

TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secure record of transactions. André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC, said:

"Digital collaboration is a key to the evolution of the container shipping industry. The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitise the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards. We think that the TradeLens Advisory Board, as well as standards bodies such as the Digital Container Shipping Association, will help accelerate that effort."

The much vaunted attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited to large networks of disparate partners. Blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time.

With more than 100 participants on the platform, TradeLens is already processing over ten million discrete shipping events and thousands of documents each week, providing shippers, carriers, freight forwarders, customs officials, port authorities, inland transportation providers and others a common view of transactions. A commitment to data ownership rights and permissioned access to data helps ensure privacy and confidentiality while enabling users to collaborate more efficiently with real-time access to shipping data.

CMA CGM and MSC will operate a blockchain node, participate in consensus to validate transactions, host data, and assume the critical role of acting as Trust Anchors, or validators, for the network. CMA CGM and MSC will be on the TradeLens Advisory Board which will include members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.