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GSBN achieves industry milestone with trade finance application enabled by trusted shipping data

Pilot with Bank of China (Hong Kong), Hapag-Lloyd and A & W Food Service (Hong Kong) Ltd on the exchange of Shipping Data for Invoice Financing

29 September 2022, Hong Kong SAR – Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an independent, not-for-profit blockchain consortium founded by major shipping lines and global terminal operators, has reached an industry-first milestone in successfully unifying the consent collection and sharing of shipping data on the GSBN Data Sharing Management Application.

In collaboration with Bank of China (Hong Kong) (“BOCHK”), Hapag-Lloyd and A & W Food Service (Hong Kong) Ltd, the pilot transaction was completed in under 20 minutes. By supplying banks with trusted shipping data, the consortium’s solution aims to facilitate approval process and make trade finance more accessible to corporates.

According to the World Economic Forum, the global trade finance gap is widening and is estimated to reach $2.5 trillion by 2025. With an increasingly challenging economic environment, it has never been more important to increase the accessibility of trade finance, particularly to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – the backbone of the global economy.

Critical to this is improving trusted data sharing across the supply chain with financial institutions. It is evident that a growing number of governments and consortiums have already been set up to address the challenge. However, sharing of shipping data is still largely blocked by the lack of consent. Due to the complex nature of global supply chains, a single shipment can involve multiple parties. This makes it challenging to obtain consent from the right party for carriers to release trusted shipping data. Hence, financial institutions still rely on SMEs to provide paper-based documents.

GSBN’s Data Sharing Management App offers a blockchain-enabled application which allows SMEs to easily provide consent via the App and instruct carriers to share verified shipping data. With this consent, financial institutions can now gain access to a basket of trusted and immutable shipping data in a standardised and structured format. With higher visibility, financial institutions can benefit from accurate and complete shipping data to make informed decisions and better manage risk. By sharing data in structured format, we have also laid the foundation for automated checking, which can reduce approval times from days to minutes.

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said, “This pilot solves a major bottleneck in the industry and is a testament to the efficiency of the network in enabling trusted data sharing. Trade finance is the lifeblood of global trade, and we hope this milestone can further break down the silos between market participants and financial institutions to benefit all parties while supporting the overall growth of the industry.”

James Ho, Deputy General Manager of Transaction Banking Department at BOCHK, said, “BOCHK has been a long-term partner of GSBN, striving to help bridge the trade finance gap. We are very proud to be one of the pioneers completing this pilot transaction and contributing to the global economy by making trade finance more accessible to corporates, especially for SMEs. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with GSBN to advance trade digitisation and harness the full potential of blockchain to offer more effective and innovative solutions to our customers.”

Dr. Dirk Reiß, Senior Director, IT at Hapag-Lloyd, said, “Enabling trusted data sharing is essential to facilitating a smooth trade finance process and it has always been a huge challenge in the supply chain industry. As a shipping company committed to innovation, we are delighted to have completed this pilot transaction with GSBN’s platform around unifying consent collection and the sharing of shipping data. We believe this has an important implication to many businesses and will further expedite the growing pace of digital transformation across the industry.”

Leo Lai, Finance & Admin Manager at A & W Food Service (Hong Kong) Ltd, said, “Expanding trade finance availability for SMEs has been more important than ever amid the increasingly challenging economic environment. As a firm believer of process digitisation, A & W Food Service is pleased to work with GSBN on this pilot transaction to enable trusted data sharing. It is our hope that this process will become a norm in the industry and more SMEs can benefit from it.”

– ENDS –

About GSBN

Incorporated in Hong Kong, the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit technology consortium building a blockchain-enabled operating system to redefine global trade. The platform facilitates trusted collaboration between disparate and competing market participants, as well as enabling greater efficiencies and resilience. It also aims to expand the global trade ecosystem by creating bridges to new market participants including banks, fintech companies and other consortia, while supporting the development of technology-driven innovation as the sector makes the leap to digital.

The consortium was first founded by 8 global leaders in the global shipping industry accounting for one in every three containers handled in the world.

Press Contacts

Edelman for GSBN

Vicky Lo

+852 2837 4786

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