Mar 2, 2018

New blockchain platform could 'save shipping industry $5.7bn a year'

Digital Transformation
Romily Broad
3 min
Blockchain powered shipping
Former Maersk executives in Denmark will launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for a new platform called Blockshipping in April. The platform - a blo...

Former Maersk executives in Denmark will launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for a new platform called Blockshipping in April. The platform - a blockchain-based global shipping container registry - is one they hope will transform an industry historically rife with inefficiency.

The container shipping industry accounts for around 60 percent of all the world’s seaborne trade, but has been troubled for years by challenges such as overcapacity, low freight rates, security threats, and increasing environmental regulations. Hundreds of millions are spent every year shipping empty containers around the world. 

The global shipping industry needs increased efficiency and a fundamental digital transformation to ensure profitability in the future and to comply with environmental regulations.

Blockshipping has created what it's called the Global Shared Container Platform (GSCP), which aims to be the first real-time registry of the world’s approximately 27 million shipping containers and a joint platform for all players in the container shipping industry. Its blockchain-powered underpinnings, along with sensor technology, will allow them to efficiently perform a wide range of transactions related to the handling of containers globally.

Blockshipping claims the platform has the potential to reduce costs for the global shipping industry to the tune of $5.7bn annually and reduce global CO2 emissions by more than 4.6 million tons every year.

The Founder and CEO of Blockshipping, veteran shipping executive and a former CIO at Maersk Line Peter Ludvigsen, said: “In 2017, the world’s huge fleet of containers was used for transporting of all kinds of goods of a total value of around $12 trillion. But the problem is that we have no central registry of the many millions of containers constantly shifting location, incurring payments, and changing ownership. And this lack of real-time tracking results in a huge number of empty containers being moved around unnecessarily.”

“The GSCP platform is the answer to the problem of the missing global real-time container registry. And in addition, the GSCP will be the preferred global trading platform for all kinds of services related to container handling between a wide range of shipping industry players.”

The GSCP ICO has already launched on an invite-only basis, and will be offered publicly in April. It will feature two types of token, a Container Platform Token for the clearing and settling of transactions, and Container Crypto Tokens, which will facilitate a revenue-sharing scheme with backers and be based on the Ethereum blockchain. It's also, of course, a way for Blockshipping to raise funds.

The company says ICO contributors will be given the option of selling their coins back to the platform at a floor price.

Blockshipping's ICO is not only the first Nordic shipping-related ICO, it is also the first ICO to be based on the a new Danish ICO 2.0 Framework, which the company says ensures a set of standards for legal compliance, security, and transparency with stakeholders

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Jun 16, 2021

Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution

Macmillan Education
Grupo Espinosa
3 min
A proudly Mexican company servicing the publishing industry with best-in-class printing, storage and distribution facilities in the heart of Latin America

Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand. 

So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes,  basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”

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