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MSC Collaborates with GSBN to trial Integrated Safe Transportation Certification Verification Process, Boosting Safety of Lithium Battery Shipments

The collaboration was unveiled at the SMDG's 78th CDC and Plenary Meeting

From left to right: Arthur Touzot COSCO Shipping Lines; Captain Yi-Syou Hwang Evergreen; Heiko Hübner COSCO Shipping Lines; Bertrand Chen GSBN; Captain Dirk Van de Velde Mediterranean Shipping Company; Jorg Demeyer Mediterranean Shipping Company

(Antwerp and Hong Kong, 24 April 2024) – Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a neutral, not-for-profit consortium enabling paperless, accessible and sustainable growth in global trade with its data infrastructure and ecosystem of partners, today announces its collaboration with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company to further enhance safety in transporting lithium battery shipments. The collaboration was jointly unveiled by GSBN and MSC  during the SMDG’s 78th CDC and Plenary Meeting in Antwerp, Belgium.

The increasing presence of lithium-ion batteries carried on container ships amid rising misdeclarations has become a major concern for the shipping industry given the risk of fire. In its collaboration, MSC integrated its lithium battery shipment booking process with GSBN, which has extensive access to China’s top testing laboratories and certification providers, including SICIT and Pony Testing.

This means following testing, immutable safe transportation certificates can be shared directly by the laboratories over GSBN’s blockchain network and are seamlessly accessed during booking by MSC. This improves the overall customer experience while replacing an often paper-based process in which such certificates are hard to verify and carried risks such as loss, mislabelling as well as fraud. The intention is to extend the collaboration to a wider group of certificates as well as expanding the network of laboratories to increase the coverage for carriers.

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said, “The unprecedented demand for lithium shipments has introduced new challenges for the industry and those who work in it. Our aim is through these collaborations is to harness technology to support the global effort to sustainability and mark a new era in shipping safety. As we look ahead, we aim to extend our collaboration to even more shipping lines and certification providers globally to ensure that every journey safeguards lives."

Dirk Van de Velde, Chief Health, Safety, Security and Environment Officer at MSC, said, “Our collaboration with GSBN offers the best of both worlds. We can offer customers a more streamlined experience from the point of booking, while ensuring that cargo requiring special handling can be safely transported. This has only been made possible by GSBN’s blockchain network and through it, its access to top testing laboratories and certification providers in China, one of the world’s top exporters of goods with lithium-ion batteries.”

MSC is global shipping line Number 1 in the world and is investigating how to collaborate and  join GSBN’s broader efforts to improve the safe transportation certification process through blockchain technology. This latest announcement builds upon earlier collaborations with members including COSCO Shipping and OOCL.

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About GSBN

The Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is a neutral, not-for-profit consortium whose mission is to enable paperless, accessible and sustainable growth in global trade with its data infrastructure and ecosystem of partners. GSBN facilitates trusted collaboration between participants across the shipping industry to enable greater efficiencies, paperless trade as well as supporting the shipping industry’s decarbonisation transition.

GSBN’s ecosystem includes shipping lines, terminals, banks, application developers and other consortia. The entire network accounts for more than half of the containers handled in the world.

About MSC 

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is a global leader in transportation and logistics, privately owned and founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte. As one of the world’s leading container shipping lines, MSC has 675 offices across 155 countries worldwide, with the MSC Group employing almost 200,000 people. With access to an integrated network of road, rail, air, and sea transport resources which stretches across the globe, the company prides itself on delivering global service with local knowledge. MSC’s shipping line sails on more than 300 trade routes, calling at 520 ports, and is targeting net zero decarbonization by 2050. For more information about our journey to net-zero please visit:

Edelman for GSBN

June Wong

+852 3756 8623

Global Head of Public Relations at MSC

Giles Read

+41 22 595 06 15


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