AP Moller – Maersk and tech giant IBM have developed a solution called TradeLens for applying blockchain in the global supply chain.

Developed under a collaboration agreement reached between Maersk and IBM in January, TradeLens features IBM Blockchain technology that allows multiple trading partners to collaborate through a single-window transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

The blockchain-enabled shipping solution can be used by shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation, and customs authorities to interact more efficiently by accessing real-time shipping data and documents.

The TradeLens ecosystem currently comprises more than 20 port and terminal operators worldwide, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services, Port of Rotterdam, and others, accounting for around 234 marine gateways across the globe.

It also includes Pacific International Lines (PIL) as global container carrier, as well as customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia, and Peru, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.

Various beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), including Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet have also joined TradeLens.

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The TradeLens early adopter programme, through which the solution is currently available, comprises 94 organisations.

“Success with the technology rests on a single factor – bringing the entire ecosystem together around a common approach that benefits all participants equally.”

IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain senior vice-president Bridget van Kralingen said: “We believe blockchain can play an important role in digitising 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.”

Based on feedback from different members of the global supply chain ecosystem who want to adopt TradeLens, IBM, and Maersk have modified the go-to-market model and plan to deliver the solution through an extension of their existing collaboration agreement.

TradeLens is scheduled to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.