5 out of 6 for TradeLens
IBM and Maersk’s blockchain initiative has gained two new members. On Tuesday, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd and Japan’s Ocean Network Express (ONE) confirmed that they are joining the TradeLens platform, which, as a result, will now record more than half of the world’s ocean cargo.
The aim of the initiative is to cut costs in the industry and improve tracking and traceability for shipments. But the platform can only be successful with industry-wide cooperation and participation. Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology, Hapag-Lloyd said that TradeLens provides the opportunity for collaboration and to cut inefficiencies in the shipping industry, further stating that the expansion of digital collaboration “is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry.” “Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, not to mention many other ecosystem participants, we can collectively accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade.”
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Walmart announces $1.2 billion investment in China logistics
In the midst of all the trade war noise, Walmart has announced that it will be investing around 8 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) in distribution centers in China over the next 10-20 years. Walmart’s investment plans include a 1 million square foot distribution center in Dongguan. The company hopes to build 10 or more warehouses during this period.
Walmart has already invested 700 million yuan ($102 million) to construct a distribution center for perishables in South China, in order to meet the needs of the growing number of customers that shop online – which is growing at a faster rate than in the US. Last year, the retailer made $10.7 billion in sales in China alone. Customers in Chinese cities have greater expectations for same-day delivery and Walmart is currently trying to stay afloat while competing against rivals Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd. In 2016, it partnered with JD.com, while also investing millions in Dada-JD Daojia, a Chinese delivery firm. Just last year it opened the first of its “smart supermarkets”, where customers can use their smartphones to scan items to speed up the checkout process.
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DB Cargo has high hopes for Europe-China freight
Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) freight unit is planning a major capacity increase for China-bound shipments, based on current predictions and support for the Belt and Road Initiative. The railroad group expects to boost its China freight rail services by 17.6% next year, increasing the number of standard containers from 85,000 to 100,000.
Although rail freight only accounts for 1.5% of cargo traffic between Europe and China at present – compared to 95% for ocean shipping, volumes are expected to grow as more companies on both sides start to seize the benefits of train networks. Companies such as Alibaba and Porsche are soon set to benefit from rail transport. Carsten Hinne, chairman of DB Cargo Eurasia, said that its predictions for growth were based on its success so far in connecting more Chinese destinations to its European rail network as well as “Chinese subsidies under the umbrella of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” The main selling point for rail transport is the ability to reduce transport times by more than half; it takes 14-18 days for DB to transport goods from Germany to inland China and it’s significantly cheaper than air transport.
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Have a nice weekend.