Denmark's Maersk has partnered with IBM to develop a new blockchain solution that will help manage and track the paper trail of numerous shipping containers worldwide by digitising the supply chain process.

The new jointly developed solution will be based on Linux Foundation's open source Hyperledger Fabric, and will be rolled out for use in the shipping and logistics sector.

It is hoped the solution will also help improve transparency and secure sharing of information among trading partners, as well as reduces the time products spend in the transit and shipping process. It will further help in improving inventory management and will reduce waste and cost.

IBM and Maersk are planning to work with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities as part of the new collaboration to build the new trade digitisation solution, which is expected to go into production later this year.

"Maersk is excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security."

Maersk chief digital officer Ibrahim Gokcen said: “As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitise 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.

“The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems, and create new innovative business models for the entire industry.

“We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries.”

The blockchain solution is expected to help the customs authorities by providing real time visibility and improved information for risk analysis and targeting.


Image: A new blockchain solution from IBM and Maersk will help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world. Photo: courtesy of Maersk.