ICTSI links terminals to blockchain platform
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) – November 13, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is connecting its network of terminals in 19 countries to a blockchain platform for enhanced service and operations.
ICTSI said it has signed on to connect its 31 terminals globally to TradeLens, an industry platform supported by blockchain technology that is jointly developed by IBM and Maersk.
The company said connecting to TradeLens would enable all of its terminals 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 by utilizing data in near real time, ICTSI said.
“We are now testing the system and transferring information about loading and discharge of cargo, berthing of vessels to the blockchain platform,” ICTSI vice president and chief information officer Brian Hibbert said.
“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,” Hibbert said.
Aside from enabling carriers and cargo owners to exchange transactional information in real time, ICTSI said TradeLens also sends associated trade documents to permissioned parties, making it faster and easier to issue bills of lading for cargo, sanitary certificates, invoices for payment, and other types of documentation.
ICTSI said this is especially important for terminals 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,” it said.
“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,” ICTSI said.
TradeLens was launched in 2018 and now includes more than 175 organizations, extending to more than 10 ocean carriers and encompassing data from more than 600 ports and terminals.
Supported by major players across the global shipping industry, the platform promotes the efficient, transparent, and secure exchange of information to foster greater collaboration and trust across the global supply chain.
“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,” TradeLens director of network development Thomas Sproat said.
ICTSI is a publicly listed firm of tycoon Enrique Razon, which is in the business of port development, management and operations.