We have read many articles, extolling the virtues of Seafarers who are considered the backbone of the shipping industry and how they are important to the industry etc etc.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these Seafarers are facing significant challenges with extended service on board, unable to go ashore for a bit of fresh air after many months at sea, unable to be relieved of their duties and go home to be with their loved ones etc.
This is despite international maritime compliance regulations which require Seafarers to be changed on a regular basis from ships they work in to ensure safety, crew health, welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.
There have been calls from many quarters for appropriate action to be taken to address these issues faced by Seafarers.
TradeLens is a digital alliance among container shipping lines started by the teaming up of Maersk and IBM to offer customers digital freight solutions..
Touted as an open and neutral industry platform underpinned by Blockchain technology, Tradelens is now supported by major industry players such as Maersk, Zim Lines, PIL, CMA CGM, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and ONE..
This platform received a major boost on the 23rd of December 2019 when The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) published “The TradeLens Agreement”..
Blockchain seems to have become a prolific “enabler” of businesses, particularly in the shipping and freight and trade industry..
Whether in its use by Banks and Shippers to create Trade Finance documents; or creating and transmitting smart bills of lading; or setting up a blockchain-based marketplace app for trading in coffee; or making documentation easy for ports; or ensuring prompt delivery of mandarins for the Chinese New Year; Blockchain is making its presence felt quite rapidly in our industry..
Many shipping lines, ports, financial institutions and other private entities are using Blockchain and testing it in many different ways through many pilot projects..
Saudi Customs became the latest entity to successfully test drive its first shipment powered the blockchain technology..
Previously we shared an article about India’s first blockchain enabled Letter of Credit and also the First blockchain enabled trade finance transaction.. Both of these activities were carried out by HSBC..
HSBC seems to be leading the way in terms of blockchain-based tools to handle financial processes relating to foreign-exchange trades..
Major shipping lines from within the container shipping industry namely, Maersk Line, MSC, CMA-CGM, Hapag Lloyd and ONE are locked in discussions to create an association looking to pave the way for further digitalization, standardization and interoperability within the industry..
Blockchain – that newfangled concept seems to be catching on quickly and moving along quite nicely in the shipping and freight industry..
A Blockchain is a ledger that uses cryptography, the internet and naturally computers to create, share, transfer, track and secure assets and transactions (represented/organised as blocks) belonging to everyone to fulfil a certain function..
Unless the previous transaction is not completed in the chain and shared forward with a timestamp, the next transaction cannot happen..
In the first transaction of its kind in India, HSBC India and ING Bank Brussels have enabled, successfully executed and completed a full blockchain driven trade finance transaction between India’s Reliance Industries and USA’s Tricon Energy..
Port Elizabeth is one of the main ports in South Africa and is a main port of call for many carriers on the East/West Trade between Far East/South East Asia and the Americas and the North/South Trade between Africa and Europe..
Since the morning of 30th October, access to this main port has been restricted as one of the 5 STS (Ship to Shore gantry cranes) was blown off its rails due to the extreme winds that Port Elizabeth (PE) has been facing..
In what is seen as a landmark moment in the history of shipping in India in recent times, PepsiCo will move 16 containers filled with food and snacks on a vessel, the MV RN Tagore (for Rabindranath Tagore) from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga using the National Waterway-1..
This will mark India’s first container cargo movement through inland waterways..
An anti-apartheid artwork featuring the military vehicle Casspir was shipped from South Africa and United States as part of The Casspir Project.. Here is the news item from Transnet regarding this project..
The Casspir was synonymous with the heavy hand of apartheid oppression in the townships and urban areas of South Africa.. While designed originally as a military vehicle, it was used extensively against civilian populations in the 1980’s..