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GSBN signs MoU with SABIC, COSCO SHIPPING, Hutchison Ports and PSA to enable paperless trade

Five-way MoU signed at the ICC Future Trade Forum in Singapore set to further drive digitisation through the adoption of electronic Bill of Lading

30 March 2023 – Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an independent not-for-profit technology consortium building a trusted platform designed to redefine global trade, shipper Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), carrier COSCO SHIPPING Lines (COSCO SHIPPING), together with global terminal operators Hutchison Ports and PSA International (PSA), have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enable paperless trade.

The five-way MoU was signed during a signing ceremony held at the ICC Future Trade Forum in Singapore, under this year’s theme of “Digitization of Trade Through New Technology and Digital Standards”.

SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, makes distinctly different kinds of products, from chemicals, commodity and high-performance plastics, to agri-nutrients and metals. SABIC supports its customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end-use applications such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation, and clean energy. Successful delivery of these products requires dedicated value chain partnerships. To that end, SABIC is collaborating with GSBN and its partners across the Asia Pacific region, utilising GSBN’s trusted data infrastructure to create a paperless, secure and efficient shipping process.

The MoU will see all signatories leveraging the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) for export shipments by SABIC via COSCO SHIPPING to ports in Asia controlled by Hutchison Ports and PSA. Structured data from the eBL issued via GSBN’s data infrastructure, will also be used by Cargo Release to enable a fully digital solution, which connects everyone involved at the ports of import to enable the secure and paperless release of containers.

The objective of the MoU is to boost efficiency and reduce the environmental impact throughout the shipping process. The GSBN platform also facilitates even closer collaboration between the carrier and ports by breaking down data siloes between them to unlock the power of digitisation, as well as enable new value to customers such as SABIC.

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said, “It is encouraging to see impetus in driving eBL adoption. GSBN is ready to step up to be the platform which brings these initiatives to life. What is exciting about this collaboration is the ability to demonstrate the value of end-to-end eBL adoption with Cargo Release. The infrastructure we have built will serve as the trusted hub, enabling orchestration between these different parties to improve operational efficiency and supporting the possibility for future applications that can unlock new value beyond the supply chain.”

The announcement follows recent efforts from the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to encourage eBL adoption, as well as GSBN’s collaboration with these standard bodies to support different types of eBL from container to bulk. Furthermore, GSBN’s Trade Finance Advisory Group, comprised of global banks, will also offer a platform for future collaboration in the area of trade finance.

Capt. Song Weijun, General Manager, New Golden Sea Shipping Pte. Lt at COSCO SHIPPING Lines, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with GSBN and its ecosystem as well as customers such as SABIC to further accelerate eBL adoption. GSBN’s collaboration with different industry players make its infrastructure an ideal platform to unlock the holistic potential of eBLs and new technology.”

Andy Tsoi, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, at Hutchison Ports, said, “This is another milestone in our long-standing strategy to develop new technologies and partnerships with the likes of GSBN to enable modern, world-class ports. GSBN’s Cargo Release is a proven solution which is already delivering very tangible benefits and we are confident this collaboration will further bring to life the value the consortium’s platform can deliver.”

Kam Poh Yuen, Assistant Vice President (Platform) Group Commercial at PSA International, said, “PSA is pleased to support and accelerate the adoption of digitally-enabled maritime trade. This latest MoU is an ambitious but important partnership to demonstrate the power of eBL and modern technologies such as GSBN’s platform, to create new value for stakeholders and to inspire others in the industry.”

– ENDS –

About GSBN

Incorporated in Hong Kong, the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit technology consortium which has built an infrastructure and platform harnessing advanced technologies such as blockchain, 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.

About Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

SABIC is a global diversified chemicals company, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.

SABIC supports its customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end-use applications such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 16.53 billion (US$ 4.41 billion) in 2022. Sales revenues for 2022 totalled SR 198.47 billion (US$ 52.92 billion). Total assets stood at SR 313 billion (US$ 83.46 billion) at the end of 2022. Production in 2022 stood at 61 million metric tons.

The company has more than 31,000 employees worldwide and operates in around 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, SABIC has 9,948 patents and pending applications, and has significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.


COSCO SHIPPING Lines is engaged in domestic and international maritime container transport services. With a fleet of 511 container vessels with a total capacity of 3.0 million TEUS is ranking the 4th place in the world and operating 403 international and domestic shipping routes, covering 558 ports in 140 countries and regions worldwide and committed to providing high-quality “End to End” transportation solutions for customers.

About Hutchison Ports

Hutchison Ports is the ports and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited. Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.

In 2022, Hutchison Ports handled a combined throughput of 84.8 million TEU.

About PSA International

PSA International (PSA) is a leading port group and trusted partner to cargo stakeholders. With flagship operations in Singapore and Antwerp, PSA’s global network encompasses 160 locations in 42 countries around the world. The Group’s portfolio comprises over 60 deep sea, rail and inland terminals, as well as affiliated businesses in supply chain management, logistics, marine and digital services. Drawing on the deep expertise and experience from a diverse global team, PSA actively collaborates with its customers and partners to deliver world-class port services alongside, develop innovative cargo solutions and co-create an Internet of Logistics. As the partner of choice in the global supply chain, PSA is “The World’s Port of Call”. Visit us at, or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook (@globalpsa).

Press Contacts

Edelman for GSBN

June Wong

+852 3756 8623

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