After months of collaboration, A. P. Moller-Maersk and IBM have announced the launch of a blockchain-based trading platform for the shipping industry.

Last year, shipping giant Maersk had announced its plans to partner with IBM – the leading blockchain platform provider – to develop blockchain solutions for efficient tracking and management of supply chain along with digitization of necessary data.

The new blockchain platform, which has been going through its initial development phase since a few months, will aim to facilitate the worldwide shipping industry.

The joint venture company will run its headquarters from New York.

What does the platform do?

The platform uses IBM Blockchain technology powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.

It focuses on effective tracking of shipped goods to ensure that the supply-chain runs with best practices and without any issues. This will also allow all stakeholders to communicate with each other promptly in case they need to discuss or check on updates for a particular shipment.

It will also have digitization of pertinent data and processes as one of its core objectives. Through the platform, Maersk and IBM both aim to eliminate the need for unnecessary delays, such as having to run from organization to organization for the issuance of clearance for a particular supply chain. By having all verified information available through the blockchain, the concerned authorities can ensure that the data being provided is up to date while also being shared securely, and that would help cut the times for such processes by having them managed efficiently through smart contracts.

Maersk and IBM have already gotten quite a few prominent organizations to pilot the platform for them. These organizations include but are not limited to, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, and U. S. Customs and Border Protection.

After successful deployment and rigorous testing, the two companies are now ready to offer the platform and the solutions that it offers to an array of global companies that are interested in having the new technology used within their day to day operations to maximize security and efficiency.

Notable names are already on the list

It is no surprise that with the involvement of Maersk and IBM, notable organizations already trust this venture and are very interested in utilizing its blockchain solutions. Some of such entities are mentioned below:

  • General Motors
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Agility Logistics
  • Singapore Customs
  • Peruvian Customs
  • APM Terminals
  • PSA International

The new venture will have a new CEO

Both organizations have chosen Michael J. White as their new blockchain company’s CEO. White is the former president of Maersk Line in North America.

In his statement to the press, White mentioned how unnecessary manual processes that are still in practice within the shipping industry could lead to a waste of resources. He stated that the blockchain platform will resolve these issues by providing efficient solutions for process management and that as a result could lead to developing a worldwide ecosystem for the shipping industry.

“Today, a vast amount of resources are wasted due to inefficient and error-prone manual processes. The pilots confirmed our expectations that, across the industry, there is considerable demand for efficiency gains and opportunities coming from streamlining and standardizing information flows using digital solutions. Our ambition is to apply these learnings to establish a fully open platform whereby all players in the global supply chain can participate and extract significant value. We look forward to further expanding our ecosystem of partners as we progress toward a global solution.”

Subject to clearance from regulatory authorities, Maersk and IBM can start deploying the platform all over the world within six months.