BlockchainCloudDistributed LedgerEnterpriseLogisticsTC

IBM-Maersk blockchain shipping consortium expands to include other major shipping companies

Last year IBM and Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk announced the limited availability of a blockchain-based shipping equipment named
TradeLens
. Today, the two partners announced that a couple of other major shippers have come on board.

The partners announced that CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company have joined TradeLens. When you include these companies together with Maersk, the TradeLens consortium now encompasses almost half of the world’s cargo container shipments, according to data supplied by IBM .

That’s important, because shipping has traditionally been a paper-intensive and largely manual process. It’s still challenging to track where a container might be in the world and which government agency might be holding it up. When it comes to auditing, it can take weeks of intensive effort to accumulate the paperwork generated throughout a voyage from factory or field to marketplace. Suffice to say, cargo touches a lot of hands along the path.

It’s been clear for years that shipping could merit from digitization, but to this point, previous attempts like EDI have not been terribly successful. The hope is that by using blockchain to unravel the problem, all the participants can easily follow the flow of shipments along the chain and trust that the immutable record has not been altered at any point.

As Marie Wieck, general manager for IBM Blockchain told TechCrunch at the moment of last year’s announcement, the blockchain brings some key benefits to the shipping workflow:

The blockchain provides a couple of obvious advantages over previous methods. For starters, [Wieck said] it’s safer because data is distributed, making it much more secure with digital encryption built in. The greatest merit though is the visibility it provides. Every participant can check any aspect of the flow in real moment, or an auditor or other dominance can easily track the entire process from begin to complete by clicking on a block in the blockchain instead of requesting data from each entity manually.

The TradeLens partners certainly see the benefits of digitizing the process. “We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to assist usher in this digital transformation,” Rajesh Krishnamurthy, executive vice president for IT & Transformations at CMA CGM team, said in a statement.

Today’s announcement is a huge stride toward gaining more adoption for this reach. While there are many companies working on supply chain products on the blockchain, the more shipping companies and adjacent entities like customs agencies who join TradeLens, the more effective it’s going to be.

Source
TechCrunch
Tags

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Close
Close