Blockchain solution promotes efficient trade

Containers at a terminal TradeLens is designed so that users can interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data and shipping documents. Credit: Maersk Line
Industry Database

More than 20 global ports and terminal operators are supporting a new blockchain enabled shipping solution which aims to promote more efficient and secure global trade, support information sharing and transparency and encourage industry-wide innovation.

Developed by IBM and Maersk, 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. It utilises blockchain smart contracts and is designed so that users can interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

“TradeLens uses blockchain technology to create an industry standard for the secure digitisation and transmission of supply chain documents around the world,” commented Peter Levesque, CEO of Hong Kong-based Modern Terminals, one of the 94 organisations involved in the TradeLens early adopter programme.

“This initiative will generate tremendous savings for our industry over time while enhancing global supply chain security,” he added.

Targeting delays

During a 12-month trial, Maersk and IBM worked with dozens of ecosystem partners to identify opportunities to prevent delays caused by documentation errors, information delays, and other impediments.

Since first announcing the jointly developed solution in January 2018, IBM and Maersk have decided to deliver TradeLens through a joint collaboration model instead of a joint venture, to better address key feedback and maximise adoption.

TradeLens is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of the year.

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