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March 6, 2017

IBM and Maersk work together to use blockchain for logistics

Bridget van Kralingen: “We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology".

By Tom Ball

Blockchain is set to be used within transport and logistics following a project undertaken by IBM and Maersk Group, a business conglomerate that focuses primarily on transport and energy sectors.

The digitisation of the supply chain process is aimed at enhancing transparency and the security of sharing information with trading partners. In addition to improved efficiency, IBM has said that the move could lead to billions of dollars being saved within the industry.

For shipping in particular, the solution is intended to reduce trade documentation and processing costs, while also tackling delays and errors that occur when physical paperwork is transferred and moved. Customs authorities are also set to benefit, as real time visibility and the availability of information for risk analysis are also areas where improvement is planned.

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The plan is set to have a wide reach, creating a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to be linked under the solution. The solution is based on the open source Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric, with IBM hosting the solution on the IBM Cloud.

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

“Working closely with Maersk for years, we’ve long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem. Bringing together our collective expertise, we created a new model the industry will be able to use to help improve the transparency and efficiency of delivering goods around the globe.”

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Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, at Maersk said: “As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize 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,”

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