GSBN signs MoU with SABIC, COSCO SHIPPING, Hutchison Ports and PSA to enable paperless trading

Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an independent, not-for-profit technology consortium building a trusted platform to redefine global trade, shipper Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), airline company COSCO SHIPPING Lines (COSCO SHIPPING) along with global terminal operators Hutchison Ports and PSA International (PSA) have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable paperless trading.

The five-page MOU was signed during a signing ceremony at the ICC Future Trade Forum in Singapore under this year’s theme, “Digitizing Trade Through New Technologies and Digital Standards.”

SABIC, a world leader in the chemical industry, manufactures distinctly different types of products, from chemicals, raw materials and high-performance plastics to agricultural nutrients and metals. SABIC supports its customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end-use applications such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agricultural commodities, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy. Successful delivery of these products requires committed value chain partnerships. To this end, SABIC is working with GSBN and its partners in the Asia Pacific region, leveraging GSBN’s proven data infrastructure to create a paperless, secure and efficient shipping process.

The MoU requires all signatories to use the electronic bill of lading (eBL) for export shipments from SABIC via COSCO SHIPPING to ports in Asia controlled by Hutchison Ports and PSA. Structured data from the eBL, issued via GSBN’s data infrastructure, is also used by Cargo Release to enable a fully digital solution connecting all stakeholders at import ports to enable secure and paperless release of containers.

The goal of the MoU is to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact throughout the shipping process. The GSBN platform also facilitates even closer collaboration between the shipping company and the ports, breaking down data silos between them to unleash the power of digitization and bring new value to customers like SABIC.

Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN, said: “It is encouraging to see the adoption of eBL moving forward. GSBN stands ready to be the platform that brings these initiatives to life. What is exciting about this collaboration is the opportunity to demonstrate the value of end-to-end adoption of eBL with Cargo Release. The infrastructure we are building will serve as a trusted hub, enabling orchestration between these diverse parties to improve operational efficiencies and support the opportunity for future applications that can unlock new value beyond the supply chain.”

The announcement follows recent efforts by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to promote the adoption of eBL, as well as GSBN’s collaboration with these standards bodies, to support other types of eBL from container to bulk. Additionally, GSBN’s Trade Finance Advisory Group, made up of global banks, will also provide a platform for future trade finance collaboration.

Captain Song Weijun, General Manager, New Golden Sea Shipping Pte. Lt of COSCO SHIPPING Lines said, “We are excited to be partnering with GSBN and its ecosystem, as well as customers like SABIC, to further accelerate the adoption of eBL. GSBN’s collaboration with various industry players makes its infrastructure an ideal platform to unlock the holistic potential of eBLs and emerging technologies.”

Andy Tsoi, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, at Hutchison Ports, said: “This is another milestone in our long-standing strategy of developing new technologies and partnerships with companies like GSBN to enable world-class modern ports. GSBN’s Cargo Release is a proven solution that is already delivering very tangible benefits and we are confident that this collaboration will continue to bring to life the value that the consortium’s platform can deliver.”

Kam Poh Yuen, Assistant Vice President (Platform) Group Commercial at PSA International, said: “PSA is pleased to support and accelerate the adoption of digitally-enabled maritime trade. This latest MoU is an ambitious but important partnership to demonstrate the power of eBL and modern technologies like GSBN’s platform, to create new value for stakeholders and to inspire others in the industry.”

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