IBM & Maersk launch TradeLens global supply chain blockchain system

IBM and Maersk have launched a blockchain application for global supply chains called TradeLens, along with 94 partner organisations.

Maersk and IBM jointly agreed in January to develop the system that uses IBM blockchain technology as the basis for digital supply chains, and empower multiple trading partners to work together by establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

The TradeLens System is intended to be open and neutral, enabling shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transport and customs authorities to work together more efficiently through real-time access shipping data and shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

The new program is available through an early adopter scheme and is affected to be fully available commercially by the end of this year.

Participants in the programme include:

– Logistics and forwarding companies including Agility, CEVA, Damco, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance.

– Port operators including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, and Port of Bilbao.

– Container lines including Pacific International Lines, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd.

– Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru.

“Through better visibility and more efficient means of communicating, some supply chain participants estimate they could reduce the steps taken to answer basic operational questions such as ‘where is my container’ from ten steps and five people to, with TradeLens, one step and one person,” the partners said.

“As a global logistics provider, CEVA sees a unique opportunity in TradeLens, joining forces with IBM, Maersk and other actors from our industry to promote global standards around an open and neutral solution, delivering on the promise of blockchain. It is an important step in our relentless journey to deliver increased value to all our customers and making business flow,” said Christophe Cachat, CIO of CEVA Logistics.

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president at IBM said: “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.”