- Maersk and IBM will soon begin using blockchain to establish a shared, unalterable record of shipping transactions, a Maersk press release reported Tuesday.
- Blockchain will not only power the new platform, but also allow for the deployment of other cloud-based open source technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics in order to enable the more rapid and accurate movement and tracking of goods across international borders.
- Singapore and Peruvian Customs, respectively, are currently considering collaborating with the platform to facilitate trade flows and enhance supply chain security. APM Terminals and PSA International intend to use it to enrich port collaboration and improve terminal planning.
Though originally announced in March, the Maersk-IBM partnership is at last ready to launch.
“Applying blockchain technology to the global shipping ecosystem is at the center of the joint venture," Ramesh Gopinath, VP Blockchain Solutions at IBM told Supply Chain Dive.
With roughly 200 transactions occurring per shipment, the introduction of blockchain technology as a simplifying agent is ideal for the shipping industry, a reflection on blockchain’s surge in recognition. In fact, its easy traceability factor is now being used within the food industry to combat contamination — such is its reliability.
This pairing is the culmination of nearly two years planning for IBM-Maersk to simplify required transactions analyze challenges facing the shipping industry.
"As respective leaders in their industries, IBM and Maersk have a long history of teaming up to apply the latest technologies to address challenges, so it is logical that we would pursue this together," Gopinath said. "There’s a ton of waste, friction and delay in the industry overall, and we thought that if we could reduce the amount with technologies, including blockchain, it would be beneficial on a broad scale."
He compared tracking containers to consumers tracking packages of products purchased online.
"The global shipping industry transports over $4 trillion worth of goods annually, and we believe that applying blockchain and other technologies will transform the industry and potentially lead to billions of dollars of value created," he said.