IBM's blockchain shipping platform adds to its fleet

The addition of two new carriers, CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, means that IBM and Maersk's TradeLens platform will now store data for nearly half of the world's ocean carrier cargo


TradeLens, IBM and Maersk's blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, has taken onboard two new clients, global container carriers CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), meaning that the platform will now store data for nearly half of the world's ocean carrier cargo, according to the companies.

The shipping solution was developed jointly by IBM and Maersk and launched in August 2018 after the two firms partnered earlier in the year to create a platform which would utilize blockchain to provide greater efficiency and security to global trade. TradeLens offers a secure digitized option for international trade collaboration, using blockchain smart contracts and beta program, ClearWay, to assure stakeholders with a secure, non-repudiable audit trail and provide access to real-time shipping data.

"Digital collaboration is a key to the evolution of the container shipping industry," remarked André Simha, chief digital and information officer at MSC. "The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards."

The addition of two key industry players has assuaged earlier concerns that TradeLens was struggling to gain traction after Marvin Erdly, head of TradeLens, commented: "We do need to get the other carriers on the platform. Without that network, we don't have a product. That is the reality of the situation."

However, today the platform has processed more than 10 million shipping events, according to IBM.

"The major advances IBM continues to make in blockchain illustrate that the technology is fostering new business models and playing an important role in how the world works" said Bridget van Kralingen, senior VP – global industries, clients, platforms and blockchain at IBM.

"More than 100 participants have put their trust in the TradeLens network and are gaining greater transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods. Together we are advancing a shared aim to modernize the world’s trading ecosystems."


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