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

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SINGAPORE : Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an independent not-for-profit technology consortium building a trusted platform designed to redefine global trade, shipper Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), carrier COSCO SHIPPING Lines (COSCO SHIPPING), together with global terminal operators Hutchison Ports and PSA International (PSA), have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enable paperless trade.

The five-way MoU was signed during a signing ceremony held at the ICC Future Trade Forum in Singapore, under this year’s theme of “Digitization of Trade Through New Technology and Digital Standards”.

SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, makes distinctly different kinds of products, from chemicals, commodity and high-performance plastics, to agri-nutrients and metals. SABIC supports its customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end-use applications such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation, and clean energy. Successful delivery of these products requires dedicated value chain partnerships. To that end, SABIC is collaborating with GSBN and its partners across the Asia Pacific region, utilising GSBN’s trusted data infrastructure to create a paperless, secure and efficient shipping process.

The MoU will see all signatories leveraging the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) for export shipments by 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, will also be used by Cargo Release to enable a fully digital solution, which connects everyone involved at the ports of import to enable the secure and paperless release of containers.

The objective of the MoU is to boost efficiency and reduce the environmental impact throughout the shipping process. The GSBN platform also facilitates even closer collaboration between the carrier and ports by breaking down data siloes between them to unlock the power of digitisation, as well as enable new value to customers such as SABIC.

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said, “It is encouraging to see impetus in driving eBL adoption. GSBN is ready to step up to be the platform which brings these initiatives to life. What is exciting about this collaboration is the ability to demonstrate the value of end-to-end eBL adoption with Cargo Release. The infrastructure we have built will serve as the trusted hub, enabling orchestration between these different parties to improve operational efficiency and supporting the possibility for future applications that can unlock new value beyond the supply chain.”

The announcement follows recent efforts from the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to encourage eBL adoption, as well as GSBN’s collaboration with these standard bodies to support different types of eBL from container to bulk. Furthermore, GSBN’s Trade Finance Advisory Group, comprised of global banks, will also offer a platform for future collaboration in the area of trade finance.

Capt. Song Weijun, General Manager, New Golden Sea Shipping Pte. Lt at COSCO SHIPPING Lines, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with GSBN and its ecosystem as well as customers such as SABIC to further accelerate eBL adoption. GSBN’s collaboration with different industry players make its infrastructure an ideal platform to unlock the holistic potential of eBLs and new technology.”

Andy Tsoi, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, at Hutchison Ports, said, “This is another milestone in our long-standing strategy to develop new technologies and partnerships with the likes of GSBN to enable modern, world-class ports. GSBN’s Cargo Release is a proven solution which is already delivering very tangible benefits and we are confident this collaboration will further bring to life the value 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 such as GSBN’s platform, to create new value for stakeholders and to inspire others in the industry.”

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