The Innovator – GSBN

ITM Editor Joseph Clarke speaks to Global Business Shipping Network CEO, Bertrand Chen, about current trends and challenges in the shipping industry 

GBSN strives to modernise the entire global shipping industry to enable efficient and secure trade, and ultimately modernise global shipping for a smarter, stronger and more resilient global economy. 

With today’s global shipping industry struggling to keep up with the rising complexities of supply chains, markets and economies, GSBN’s blockchain-supported platform will serve as the ‘operating system’ of choice for global trade, starting with the shipping industry.  

Could you tell us about the history of the Global Business Shipping Network? 

In 2021, a group of eight global shipping lines and terminal operators, which together handle one-third of the containers in the world, came together to form a not-for-profit technology consortium to enable the digital transformation of the shipping industry and GSBN was born.  

In less than two years, GSBN has established presences in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Latin America, serving over 10,000 clients worldwide.  

Why is the modernisation of the shipping industry so important? 

Even though global trade represents 19 trillion dollars on an annual basis, the shipping industry has not evolved the same way as the digital economy. Most processes still rely on paper and legacy systems. To sustain growth and keep up with new standards and demands from the rest of the world, digital transformation of the shipping industry is inevitable.  

At the heart of modernising the shipping industry is the way how data is shared between many parties. With the support of modern technology, such as GSBN’s blockchain-supported platform, trusted data sharing between different market participants can be facilitated, enabling new processes and resulting in greater levels of efficiency and resilience across the wider industry. Together with the potential use of IoT and other technologies, additional value can be further created for the users. 

Lastly, decarbonisation is quickly becoming a top priority for the shipping industry. The transition to more sustainable shipping requires not only investments in alternative fuels and new fleets with the engines that support them, but also means to track and report their consumption to avoid green washing and to satisfy new regulations such as EU ETS and fuelEU.  

How can blockchain technology be harnessed through the supply chain? 

Blockchain technology has the potential to connect and bring different parties together in a secure and trusted manner, breaking down the siloes as well as enabling closer and more efficient collaboration between parties.  

For example, Cargo Release developed by GSBN using blockchain technology can facilitate trusted collaboration between all parties from port of import, including shipping lines, consignees, agents and terminals. It simplifies data exchange and shortens operation time among parties by providing real-time updates and cutting the time for cargo to be ready for release from days to hours. 

Why is supply chain visibility of such high importance? 

Supply chain visibility is critical for building a resilient supply chain. And pertinent to this is having the data shared in a timely manner in order to attain a holistic understanding of a company’s exposure to risks, allowing for better decision making.  

A better flow of data also enables better management or utilisation of resources, facilitates collaboration across the industry, supports the development of new applications and offers more accurate insights, which ultimately can result in significant efficiency and economic gains, let alone the safety and environmental benefits. 

Read more news and exclusive features in our latest issue here.

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International Trade Magazine

Media Contact
Joseph Clarke
Editor, International Trade Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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