IBM-Maersk blockchain in shipping consortium signs up two major partners

By Staff Writer

Blockchain in trade finance took a giant leap forward after one of the biggest blockchain-based shipping platform has announced that they have signed up significant new partners. Global shipping firms CMA and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company announced that they will join TradeLens, which was jointly developed by Maersk and IBM, to digitize trade finance.

With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLen, the statement said.

TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secured, immutable record of transactions.

The attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited to large networks of disparate partners. Blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time.

With more than 100 participants on the platform today, TradeLens is already processing over 10mn discrete shipping events and thousands of documents each week, providing shippers, carriers, freight forwarders, customs officials, port authorities, inland transportation providers, and others a common view of transactions, which can build trust.

A commitment to data ownership rights and permissioned access to data helps ensure privacy and confidentiality while enabling users to collaborate more efficiently with real-time access to shipping data.

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain, IBM, believes that since increasing participation by shipping firms in the TradeLens network showcases how the consortium is “advancing a shared aim to modernize the world’s trading ecosystems.”

Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk, believes “TradeLens is all about that in its aim to transform the supply chain industry and provide value to all players, from freight forwarders, to ports and terminal operators and inland transportation providers, to customs and other governmental agencies, and ultimately to the customers themselves.”

Blockchain in trade finance has practical use for firms like Procter and Gamble that employ ocean containers to ship its products.

“Whether filled with our products or the materials used in production, understanding the status of our containers helps us manage an efficient supply chain,” said Michelle Eggers, Director Global Logistics Purchases, P&G. “We are convinced that the industry will benefit from the transparency and accuracy of blockchain solutions and we are pleased to see MSC, CMA CGM, and Maersk all on the TradeLens platform.”

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