Connecting to Tradelens, a blockchain platform jointly developed by IBM and Maersk, allows all ICTSI terminals permissioned access to accurate information on cargo movements well in advance of vessel arrivals. Tracking of containers through the networked exchange of data enables efficient asset planning for all entities involved utilizing data in near real time to create end-to-end data visibility. Leveraging a state-of-the-art enterprise data platform ICTSI will manage a single global TradeLens connection that will enable rapid innovation and service improvement in partnership with TradeLens.
“We are now testing the system and transferring information about loading and discharge of cargo, berthing of vessels to the blockchain platform. After complete integration of the system, we will be able to optimize work with regulatory authorities, improve our terminals’ visibility to what is coming to them as well as receive updates from the sea carriers online,” says Brian Hibbert, ICTSI Vice President and Chief Information Officer.
Launched in 2018, the TradeLens ecosystem now includes more than 175 organizations – extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals. Already, it has tracked 30 million container shipments, 1.5 billion events and roughly 13 million published documents.
“The broadening geographic scope of the platform is bolstered by the addition of ICTSI and provides new opportunities for TradeLens participants as the ecosystem continues to expand rapidly. We are excited to welcome ICTSI and eagerly await the creation of new ways of working for shippers and consignees that indirectly utilize their services,” says Thomas Sproat, TradeLens Director of Network Development.
TradeLens not only enables carriers and cargo owners to exchange transactional information in real time, it also sends associated trade documents to permissioned parties. Blockchain technology reduces the processing time of traditional paper documents, making it faster and easier to issue bills of lading for cargo, sanitary certificates, invoices for payment and other types of documentation. For terminals, this is especially important when considering hazardous cargo and potential efficiency gains in the terminal release and customs release processes.
The ability for clients to get faster and more granular information from terminals, like those managed by ICTSI, allows them to better manage a critical phase of the container journey. From container discharge information, to gate in empty details, having a single source of visibility for container movements directly improves efficiencies throughout the planning and invoice reconciliation cycles.