Intermodal logistics service provider and rail-linked inland container depot (ICD) operator, GatewayRail, has joined blockchain-enabled digital container logistics platform TradeLens to help it in its digitalisation journey, a release said on Friday.
Developed jointly by AP Moller-Maersk and IBM, TradeLens was launched to help modernise the world’s supply chain ecosystems with a special focus on containerised freight and logistics.
The association between GatewayRail and TradeLens is a major milestone in digitising India’s vast inland container logistics ecosystem with a significant impact on efficiency gained by exporters and importers, said the release.
TradeLens brings together data from the entire global supply chain ecosystem, which allows it and its network partners to modernise manual and paper-based documents by replacing them with blockchain-enabled digital solutions.
It also allows the network partners to provide their customers with deeper visibility into the entire journey for their cargo from origin to destination, it said.
GatewayRail currently operates a fleet of 31 rakes connecting western Gateway ports such as Nhava Sheva, Pipavav and Mundra to its ICDs at Garhi Harsaru in Gurugram, Piyala in Faridabad, Sahnewal in Ludhiana and at Viramgam in Ahmedabad region, where TradeLens solutions will be deployed in the first phase, said the release.
"Joining the TradeLens platform allows us to lead the change in Indian intermodal logistics ecosystem. It is the right time to change over from the manual, paper-based documentation and move towards a digital solution that drives value for all the stakeholders in the journey of import and export cargo”, said Sachin Bhanushali, CEO and Director, Gateway Rail Freight.
According to the release, customers moving import and export containers on these services will be able to make full use of the solutions provided on the TradeLens platform such as the TradeLens eBL, an electronic Bill of Lading using blockchain technology and integrated with trade finance companies and the core product that offers end-to-end visibility in addition to digital documentation.
TradeLens is a neutral platform which utilises data from shippers and cargo owners, third party logistics and freight forwarders, intermodal operators, customs and government authorities, ports and terminals, and several ocean carriers, said the company.
This data along with digital documentation will help GatewayRail’s customers to improve their operational efficiency and create value through the blockchain platform, it said.
“The TradeLens network is rapidly expanding in India, and we are extremely delighted to have GatewayRail as the first rail operator directly integrated to our platform, " said Bimal Kanal, Head of TradeLens, South Asia. Digitising supply chains is high on agenda for Indian logistics and building on this network is a step in the right direction, he said.
"There is no doubt that digitising supply chains will ultimately help in bringing down the total cost of logistics, which is an important cornerstone of the National Logistics Policy”, he said.
Moreover, being an early adopter of TradeLens in India, he said, GatewayRail has done what major rail companies in the western countries of America and Europe have already completed.
Joining the TradeLens platform will assist GatewayRail to meet the ambition of the foundation carriers, including Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, Hapag Lloyd and ONE, to bring secure data sharing for driving high levels of efficiency, Kanal stated.
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