Rotterdam partners Maersk in blockchain first

Rotterdam is to pilot the 'virtual ledger'. Credit: Pieter Musterd Rotterdam is to pilot the 'virtual ledger'. Credit: Pieter Musterd
Industry Database

Maersk and IBM are joining up in a new collaboration to use blockchain technology to help change the global, cross-border supply chain.

Based on the Hyperledger Fabric, the blockchain solution will be made available to the shipping industry to help manage and track the paper trail of millions of shipping containers across the world.

It will do this by digitalising the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.

“As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitalise global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security,” said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer at Maersk.

He added: “The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for customers but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players.”

The solution is designed to help reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and reduce waste.

It is expected to be widely available to support multiple parties across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem later this year.

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of industry platforms at IBM, said: “We believe this new supply chain solution will be transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done.”

She concluded: “Working closely with Maersk for years, we’ve long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognised the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem.”

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