Standard Chartered Bank Unites With TradeLens Blockchain Platform
Yesterday, Standard Chartered bank declared it is joining the TradeLens blockchain container shipping platform.
Collectively produced by Maersk and IBM, TradeLens intends to digitize the container shipping industry and facilitate transparency in supply chains. Recently, transport and trade of goods are expensive and time-consuming due to dependence on paper-based processes. By utilizing blockchain, participants can safely share data and associate using a single platform.
“The trading ecosystem has complex processes, slow turnaround times, high paper-based manual documentation and limited connectivity between the various parties involved and it remains a major pain point in the centuries-old trade finance industry,” said Aarthi Fernandez, COO Trade, Singapore & South East Asia and Global Head of Trade Operations, Standard Chartered Bank.
The TradeLens blockchain platform combines IoT devices to measure physical aspects like container weight and temperature, among other things. The platform is seeking to bring freight forwarders, cargo owners, rail and trucking providers, terminals, ports, ocean carriers, customs, and other government authorities onto a particular platform.
Since its launch, TradeLens has prepared 15 million containers worldwide, and now has a network of 150 members. The platform has five of the top six ocean carriers as members, who represent over half the world’s container cargo capacity. For the bank, TradeLens offers access to the data that underpins some of its trade finance business.
“The partnership with TradeLens equips Standard Chartered Bank with reliable real-time information to validate and protect the integrity of transactions and thus deliver fast and safe service to our clients,” Fernandez added.
While Standard Chartered is also part of various blockchain initiatives across the world, the bank is one of the founders of the Voltron Letter of Credit blockchain, lately renamed as the Contour trade finance network.
Last year, StanChart supported IFFCO Singapore to trial its trade finance blockchain platform. The bank was also included in financing a cross-border transaction for a shipment of chickpeas from Australia to Singapore.
StanChart is a founding member of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) eTradeConnect platform and is also a member of the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network.