MSC Collaborates to Enhance Safe Transportation Certification of Lithium Battery Shipments

Member Updates,

L to R: Arthur Touzot, COSCO Shipping Lines; Captain Yi-Syou Hwang, Evergreen; Heiko Hübner, COSCO Shipping Lines; Bertrand Chen, GSBN; Captain Dirk Van de Velde, MSC; Jorg Demeyer, MSC. Photo courtesy of MSC.

Mediterranean Shipping Company ("MSC") has announced its collaboration with 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, to further enhance safety in transporting lithium battery shipments.

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, mislabeling 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.

“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,” said Dirk Van de Velde, Chief Health, Safety, Security and Environment Officer at MSC. “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.”

“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, said Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN

MSC is a world leading container shipping lines 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.