IBM and Maersk team up to offer blockchain-based global shipping platform

IBM is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto Ontario Canada

The concern intends to help shippers, ports, customs offices, banks, and other stakeholders in global supply chains track freight as well as replace related paperwork with tamper-resistant digital records.

IBM, in partnership with Maersk, is launching their own blockchain based solution to the complex world of the global shipping trade, the joint company the two giants have formed is so far unnamed.

"According to The World Economic Forum, by reducing barriers within the worldwide supply chain, global trade could increase by almost 15 percent, boosting economies and creating jobs", Maersk said in a press release.

IBM and Maersk have been working on a new blockchain- and cloud-based technologies since June 2016. But the partners expect the new electronic shipping platform to be generally availability in the next three to six months, according to White. White, the new company's CEO, said this pilot, which traced a container of flowers that sailed from Mombasa, Kenya to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, plus several followups convinced Maersk of the system's potential.

Maersk and IBM had announced a joint venture to deploy a blockchain-based electronic shipping system that will digitise supply chains and track global cargo in real time.

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More than $4 trillion in goods are shipped each year, and more than 80 percent of the goods consumers use daily are carried by the ocean shipping industry. Documentation, which when lost or delayed causes perishable goods lying in wait to spoil, can end up costing as much as a fifth of the total expense of physical transportation. (NYSE:IBM) and Maersk have partnered up to create what they call a way to speed up the trade industry. Reducing barriers within the worldwide supply chain can increase global trade by almost 15%, according to the World Economic Forum, creating more jobs and improving world economies, the release noted. Many companies have already expressed interest and are exploring ways to use the new platform.

The new company will be headquartered in the NY metropolitan area and led by former president of Maersk Line in North America Michael White. The system, based on a blockchain developed in-house by IBM, has two key goals; providing a shipping information pipeline with a real-time and completely transparent view of merchandise movement, the system is all based on the concept of smart contracts replacing the now complex and labor-intensive paperwork process.

"Our ambition is to apply these learnings to establish a fully open platform whereby all players in the global supply chain can participate and extract significant value".

IBM and Maersk see the adoption of blockchains as one way to achieve this improvement.

The new company will be based in the NY area with products from the joint venture available within six months.

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