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TradeLens, A Blockchain Shipping Initiative Introduced by a Partnership of Maersk and IBM

On August 9th Maersk and IBM announced the development of a joint venture, TradeLens. The project is aimed at providing global supply chains with blockchain shipping solutions for more efficient, transparent and secure trades.

Since the announcement of a collaboration in January, the project has now acquired 94 organisations who have agreed to participate, or are actively involved, in the TradeLens platform. Some of the different players currently involved include: port and terminal operators across the globe, global container carriers, customs authorities, cargo owners, freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies.

IBM is providing the blockchain technology for the digital supply chains, collaborating multiple trading partners by creating a shared view of transactions which secures confidentiality. The platform allows for real-time interaction to the data increasing efficiency and trust. This can help to induce crypto buying throughout all markets. The underlying system will utilise smart contracts to enable organisations to collaborate internationally with business processes and sharing of information. As the platform uses smart contracts it could incorporate a payment feature for the trades. There is currently not a need to buy crypto for the functionality of the platform.

Maersk and IBM trialled the project for 12 months demonstrating that TradeLens could potentially reduce transit time to the US by 40%. Organisations using TradeLens can benefit from greater efficiency and visibility with the potential of reducing the number of steps and people needed throughout the supply chain.

It is reported that more than 154 million shipping events have been recorded on the platform from data such as commercial invoices and arrival times with close to 1 million added each day. TradeLens cuts out the need to share documents through email or other methods as the platform tracks the data of each shipment in the supply chain; offering a record shared among all the parties involved.

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