Shipping business partner on lithium battery safety drive

Not-for-profit trade consortium Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has joined forces with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on an initiative it says will boost the safety of transporting shipments containing lithium batteries.

The venture allows safe transportation certification to be shared directly by testing laboratories over GSBN’s blockchain network and accessed during booking by MSC. GSBN said the system is ‘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 quantity of lithium-ion batteries in container ships cargoes is increasing, along with the number of misdeclarations, and the shipping industry has cited the risk of dangerous fires on ships as a major concern.

GSBN and MSC announced the venture during the 78th CDC and plenary meeting of SMDG, a user group for electronic data interchange (EDI) in the maritime container business, which was held in Antwerp, Belgium.

GSBN has extensive access to leading testing laboratories and certification providers in China, including SICIT and Pony Testing. The company added that it aims to extend its partnership with MSC to include further certification and to expand the network of laboratories to increase coverage for carriers.

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