Maersk-IBM blockchain shipping solution makes major strides
A.P. Moller–Maersk and IBM’s blockchain collaboration has added more than 90 organisations and is recording more than one million events per day.
Maersk and IBM have pushed ahead with their blockchain-enabled shipping solution, which was announced on 9th August under the name of TradeLens. It has been jointly developed by the two companies to apply blockchain to the world's global supply chain and follows on from a 12-month trial.
Tradelens is designed to provide a single shared view of a transaction and reduce the steps to tracking containers and goods. Through this the two companies hope that “Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight,” according to an announcement.
IBM claims in one example that “the transit time of a shipment of packaging materials to a production line in the United States” was cut but “40%”.
As part of the TradeLens early adopter program, IBM and Maersk also announced that 94 organizations are actively involved or have agreed to participate on the TradeLens platform built on open standards.
This extends to more than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase, and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia, join the global APM Terminals' network in piloting the solution. This accounts for approximately 234 marine gateways worldwide that have or will be actively participating on TradeLens.
Pacific International Lines (PIL) have joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating in the solution.
Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are participating, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.
Participation among beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) has grown to include Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet.
Freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies including Agility, CEVA Logistics, DAMCO, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance are also currently participating.
The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate and leave an audit trail.
More than 154 million shipping events have been captured on the platform, including data such as arrival times of vessels and container "gate-in", and documents such as customs releases, commercial invoices and bills of lading. This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day.
"TradeLens uses blockchain technology to create an industry standard for the secure digitization and transmission of supply chain documents around the world," commented Peter Levesque, CEO of Modern Terminals. "This initiative will generate tremendous savings for our industry over time while enhancing global supply chain security. Modern Terminals is pleased to participate as a Network Member in testing this exciting shipping industry innovation."
"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.
"We believe blockchain can play an important role in digitizing global shipping, an area of the global economy that moves four trillion dollars of goods every year. However, success with the technology rests on a single factor –bringing the entire ecosystem together around a common approach that benefits all participants equally," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain. "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."
"Our joint collaboration model allows us to better address key feedback from ecosystem participants while ensuring TradeLens interoperability and data protection among Maersk, IBM and all ecosystem participants," said Mike White, TradeLens leader for Maersk. "We strongly believe this will maximize industry adoption."