- Global port terminal operator and logistics provider DP World has begun to integrate its operations with the Maersk-led blockchain platform TradeLens, according to a press release issued Thursday.
- So far, the operator has connected its Cochin port in Kochi, India, and its Dubai terminals to the platform via API. Dubai-based DP World operates 82 marine and inland terminals in addition to other related services, including feeder lines.
- DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the operator joined the platform to reduce costs and provide better information to shippers. "By working with TradeLens we will accelerate the [digitization] of global trade," the CEO said in a statement.
TradeLens is aiming to track cargo from booking to clearance to payments, removing paper documents and reducing friction throughout using distributed ledger technology as the supporting data infrastructure. But a blockchain is only as good as the accuracy and completeness of the data it tracks. DP World is a significant addition to the TradeLens roster. Lloyd's List ranked the operator fourth on its 2019 box port operator list — DP World handled 71.2 million TEU in 2019.
Other recent additions include Standard Chartered Bank (the platform's first financial institution), the State Customs Service of Ukraine, Indonesian carrier and Salam Pacific Indonesia Lines — displaying the growing breadth of participants as the platform attempts to bring in the entire global shipping ecosystem.
The roster of TradeLens participants includes 110 ports and terminals covering more than 15 customs authorities plus at least 26 intermodal providers, 17 inland depots and 15 ocean carriers. Four of the five largest global port operators are signed on, according to Mike White, CEO of GTD Solutions and head of TradeLens.
"[T]he broadened geographic scope of the platform provides new opportunities for TradeLens ecosystem participants to innovate and develop digital offerings on the platform," said Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean and Logistics at A.P. Moller - Maersk, in a statement.
DP World has been on board with blockchain's potential to bring new visibility to ocean shipping for some time — it signed on to the other industry-wide blockchain initiative, Global Business Shipping Network, in 2018.