US Port Operator Adopts Maersk-IBM Blockchain Tech


Holt Logistics has become the first independent port operator in the northeastern United States to conduct a pilot based on a blockchain-based global trade digitization solution developed by Maersk and IBM.

The solution aims to provide transparency and promote the sharing of information within the global trade ecosystem, which in turn can reduce costs, improve productivity and speed the delivery of goods shipped around the world.

Holt Logistics and its affiliated company, Greenwich Terminals LLC, operate the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia.

Thomas J. Holt III, Business Development Manager for Holt Logistics, said: “The investment in the blockchain platform, albeit different from recent hard asset investments like the crane purchases and facility enhancements, is another investment in the future of the Port of Philadelphia, designed to reduce costs and significantly improve the port's ability to add value to the customer. 

“Our industry generates enormous amounts of paperwork and data.

“We believe that blockchain technology will increase both information velocity and validity throughout the supply chain, unlocking billions of dollars in value for stakeholders each year.

“We are delighted to be a first mover with Maersk and IBM in adopting this technology platform here in the Ports of Philadelphia. 

“This technology represents the future of our industry, and we are pleased to be a leader in putting it to work for our customers.”

The IBM Blockchain technology is being developed with Maersk to allow its users to operate on a highly secure digital ledger system network, allowing them to share information and updates about cargo transparently.

Maersk and IBM want to reduce the number of records produced at each point in the shipping chain to save as much as 20% on the cost of shipping transactions.


Read about how Rotterdam and IBM are building the port of the future in a Port Technology technical paper


Michael J. White, the head of the initiative for Maersk who will serve as CEO of the new joint venture, stated: “We welcome Holt as an early adopter to our new platform, which we believe will bring efficiencies and improvements to all participants through digitized solutions backed by blockchain and other innovative technologies.”

Todd Scott,  VP, Global Trade – Blockchain, IBM, commented: “As the leading enterprise blockchain vendor, IBM is working with clients in many sectors all over the world to help build blockchain applications that can transform entire business models – even entire industries.

“Our work with Maersk for the global shipping industry and planned joint venture focused on using blockchain to help drive the digitization of global trade will benefit port operators such as Holt Logistics Corporation, logistics companies, customs authorities, shippers, freight forwarders, transportation companies and more.”

Read more: Samsung is planning a blockchain ledger system in order to monitor billions of dollars' worth of trade

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