IBM and Maersk develop trade platform using blockchain technology

Already 94 companies and organizations have joined TradeLens – a platform that aims to manage and track the supply chain process of shipping goods, including freight forwarding and trade finance, from end to end.

On Thursday, Maersk, a shipping group stated, ninety four companies and organizations have so far joined a blockchain platform it has jointly developed with IBM that is aimed at boosting efficiency and limiting the enormous paper trail of global container shipping.

The shipping industry has seen little innovation since the invention of the container in the 1950s with cross-border trade still requiring a mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy.

As part of its strategic undertaking, Maersk intends to create a industry-wide blockchain-based trading platform, which will be later expanded to handle its transport and logistics business as well as freight forwarding and trade finance.

Maersk aims to provide end-to-end solutions for customers rather than be just a regular shipping company.

The success of its platform will depend on whether Maersk and IBM can convince industry players to sign up on it.

In a joint statement with IBM, the duo stated, custom authorities in Singapore, Netherlands, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, port operators in Singapore, Rotterdam, and Hong Kong along with container carrier Pacific International Lines (PIL) are among the companies and organizations that have already joined the platform.

The platform is still in the pilot phase and “is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year,” they said in the joint statement.

Named as TradeLens, the platform aims to help manage and track the paper trail by digitizing the supply chain process from end to end.

More than $4 trillion in goods are shipped each year, and more than 80 percent of the goods consumers use daily are carried by the ocean shipping industry, said Maersk.

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