Maersk and IBM Introduce Global Blockchain System


A.P. Moller –Maersk and IBM will apply blockchain to the world's supply chain after successfully testing and gaining broad shipping and logistics industry participation in their new TradeLens system.

TradeLens, the result of a collaboration agreement between Maersk and IBM, is a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade, bringing together various parties to support information sharing and transparency, and spur industry-wide innovation.

As part of the TradeLens early adopter program, IBM and Maersk have secured cooperation from 94 organizations.

There will also be approximately 234 marine gateways worldwide on the open-standards-based TradeLens platform.

This includes more than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase, and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia.

The ports will join the global APM Terminals' network in piloting the solution, which also has participation from customs authorities, customs brokers, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies from across the globe.

Pacific International Lines (PIL) has also joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating in the solution.



By using blockchain smart contracts, TradeLens’ stakeholders will have real-time access to shipping data and shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

TradeLens uses IBM Blockchain technology as the foundation for digital supply chains, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate by establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as Customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate in cross-organizational business processes and information exchanges, all backed by a secure, non-repudiable audit trail.

“We believe blockchain can play an important role in digitizing global shipping, an area of the global economy that moves four trillion dollars of goods every year. However, success with the technology rests on a single factor –bringing the entire ecosystem together around a common approach that benefits all participants equally,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain.

“Our work with Maersk and other enterprises in the shipping ecosystem has shown that blockchain can be used to form a strong, connected network in which all members gain by sharing important data and that together we can transform a vital part of how global trade is conducted.”

“Our joint collaboration model allows us to better address key feedback from ecosystem participants while ensuring TradeLens interoperability and data protection among Maersk, IBM and all ecosystem participants,” said Mike White, TradeLens leader for Maersk. “We strongly believe this will maximize industry adoption.”

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