Skip to content

TradeLens Data Sharing Specification

Copyright IBM Corporation and GTD Solution Inc. 2018, 2022


  • The TradeLens Data Sharing Specification and the TradeLens Swagger are subject to change periodically, particularly around the release of a new version of the TradeLens Platform. The Data Sharing Specification was last updated on 12/06/2021 to v4.3. Participants are required to continue to meet their data provisioning obligations in compliance with the latest version of this Data Sharing Specification. Participants are encouraged to review the Data Sharing Specification and TradeLens Swagger regularly.

  • Before downloading and opening documents, ensure that you have antivirus protection per your company policy with the latest virus definitions.


Data sharing is at the heart of the TradeLens platform. As cargo flows from source to destination across the supply chain, TradeLens participants involved in the transport and logistics of that cargo provide data to the platform, such as logistics milestones, movement information, and trade documents. The TradeLens platform, through a robust authorization and permission model, enables or restricts access to that data by other participants. The model both promotes secure and fast access to supply chain information and ensures that no commercially sensitive information is available to competitors or other unauthorized parties.

Data Sharing Concept1a
Figure 1: Data Sharing Concept

The TradeLens Data Sharing Specification (DSS) defines the rules governing TradeLens data sharing. The DSS is composed of:

(1) The DSS Data Sharing Model (last updated March, 2020), that lays out the key data sharing principles, identifies the participants and roles, describes the data model and data exchanged on the platform, and describes the data sharing rules, including special rules not directly applicable to an individual data item.
Download the DSS_Data_Sharing_Model pdf from the table:

Language File
English DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0.pdf
French DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_fr_FR.pdf
German DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_de_DE.pdf
Japanese DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_ja_JP.pdf
Korean DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_ko_KO.pdf
Russian DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_ru_RU.pdf
Simplified Chinese 数据共享模型_DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_zh_CN.pdf
Spanish DSS_Data_Sharing_Model_V4.0_es_ES.pdf

(2) The DSS Sharing Sheets (last updated 12/06/2021), maintained in a spreadsheet format (Microsoft Excel), which map the individual data items to the roles that have obligations to provide that data or rights to access that data. The spreadsheet allows filtering, including filtering on M (Mandatory), C (Conditional), and O (Optional) for the participant type. A Port/Terminal, or other type of participant, can use the filtering to come up with a quick list of APIs (with links to the Swagger page) that they need to call. Hover help for each link shows the section on the Swagger page where the API can be found. While the platform enforces the permissions in the DSS Sharing Sheets, the consignment defaults can be overridden by the Transport Service Buyer (defined as the buyer of transport services as stipulated in a transport service contract). A Transport Service Buyer can be the cargo interest, ocean carrier (when subcontracting one or more legs, often the inland transportation), or transport service intermediary (e.g., NVOCC). If you are the TSB and would like more information on how to do this, please contact Support.
Download the DSS_Data_Sharing_Sheets_v4.3.xlsx

In addition to the permissions listed out in the DSS v4.3, the shipment documents below are currently being piloted in the production environment and users have access to them. The permissions are still being verified. Once done, a new version of the DSS will be published.

  • Banking Cover Letter (for multi-transfer) - a document provided in the letter of credit process by a bank to another bank or importer covering the list of documents being presented along with payment instructions.
  • Notice of Completion (for multi-transfer) - a document provided in the letter of credit process by the exporter confirming the full list of documents to be presented electronically under eUCP.
  • Weight certificate - a document certifying the weight of a product being sold/shipped.
  • Quality certificate - a document certifying the quality of a product being sold/shipped.
  • Shipping Advice - a document provided by the exporter to the importer advising about the shipment.
  • Internal Invoice - a company or group-internal invoice.