A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM announced their intent to create a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.
IBM and Maersk are forming a joint venture to use blockchain technology to make global trade more efficient, transparent and secure. The aim of the new company will be to offer a jointly developed global trade digitization platform built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem.
The attributes of blockchain technology are suited to large networks of disparate partners. Blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that occur within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time. By applying blockchain, operators will not have to worry about compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.
Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain said: “The major advances IBM has made in blockchain have shown that the technology can foster new business models and play an important role in how the world works by building smarter businesses. We believe blockchain will now emerge in this market as the leading way companies seize new untapped economic opportunities.”
Furthermore, customs and government authorities, like Singapore Customs and Peruvian Customs, will explore collaborating with the platform to facilitate trade flows and enhance supply chain security. APM Terminals and PSA International will also use the platform to enhance port collaboration and improve terminal planning.
Michael J. White, CEO of the new company, commented: “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.”
A shipping information pipeline will supply end-to-end supply chain visibility to facilitate all parties involved in a supply chain to securel exchange information about shipment events in real time.
Paperless Trade will digitize and automate paperwork filings by enabling end-users to securely submit, validate and approve documents across organizational boundaries, reducing the time and cost for clearance and cargo movement.
“Blockchain-based smart contracts ensure all required approvals are in place, helping speed up approvals and reducing mistakes. Upon regulatory clearance, solutions from the joint venture are expected to become available within six months,” Maersk noted.
The platform is built on IBM Blockchain technology, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.