Maersk and IBM to Form Joint Venture Applying Blockchain to Improve Global Trade and Digitize Supply Chains

Maersk, a global leader in container logistics, and IBM, a leading provider of blockchain, supply chain visibility and interoperability solutions for the enterprise, will use blockchain technology to power the new platform, as well as employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, delivered via IBM Services, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders.
a year ago

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK and ARMONK, NY - 16 Jan 2018

A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM today announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.

The aim of the new company will be to offer a jointly developed global trade digitization platform built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem. It will address the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

The cost and size of the world’s trading ecosystems continues to grow in complexity. 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. The maximum cost of the required trade documentation to process and administer many of these goods is estimated to reach one-fifth of the actual physical transportation costs. According to The World Economic Forum, by reducing barriers within the international supply chain, global trade could increase by nearly 15 percent, boosting economies and creating jobs.

The attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited to large networks of disparate partners. A distributed ledger technology, blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time. By applying the technology to digitize global trade processes, a new form of command and consent can be introduced into the flow of information, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate and establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

Maersk, a global leader in container logistics, and IBM, a leading provider of blockchain, supply chain visibility and interoperability solutions for the enterprise, will use blockchain technology to power the new platform, as well as employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, delivered via IBM Services, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders. Manufacturers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators and customs authorities can all benefit from these new technologies, and ultimately consumers.

“This new company marks a milestone in our strategic efforts to drive the digitization of global trade. The potential from offering a neutral, open digital platform for safe and easy ways of exchanging information is huge, and all players across the supply chain stand to benefit,” said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer at Maersk and future chairman of the board of the new joint venture. “By joining our knowledge of trade with IBM’s capabilities in blockchain and enterprise technology, we are confident this new company can make a real difference in shaping the future of global trade.”

IBM's blockchain platform is enabling hundreds of clients and thousands of developers to build and scale active networks across complex use cases, including cross border payments, supply chains, and digital identification.

"The major advances IBM has made in blockchain have shown that the technology can foster new business models and play an important role in how the world works by building smarter businesses," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain. "Our joint venture with Maersk means we can now speed adoption of this exciting technology with the millions of organizations who play vital roles in one of the most complex and important networks in the world, the global supply chain. We believe blockchain will now emerge in this market as the leading way companies seize new untapped economic opportunities.”

IBM and Maersk began a collaboration in June 2016 to build new blockchain- and cloud-based technologies. Since then, multiple parties have piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The joint venture will now enable IBM and Maersk to commercialize and scale their solutions to a broader group of global corporations, many of whom have already expressed interest in the capabilities and are exploring ways to use the new platform, including: General Motors and Procter and Gamble to streamline the complex supply chains they operate; and freight forwarder and logistic company, Agility Logistics, to provide improved customer services including customs clearance brokerage.

Additional customs and government authorities, including Singapore Customs and Peruvian Customs, will explore collaborating with the platform to facilitate trade flows and enhance supply chain security. The global terminal operators APM Terminals and PSA International will use the platform to enrich port collaboration and improve terminal planning. With support from Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau by connecting to its Global Quality Traceability System for import and export goods, the platform can also link users to important trade corridors in and out of China.

To address the specific needs of the industry, Maersk and IBM are establishing an advisory board of industry experts to help further shape the platform and services, provide guidance and feedback on important industry factors, and drive open standards.

Maersk and IBM have named Michael J. White, former president of Maersk Line in North America, as CEO of the new company. He commented, “Today, a vast amount of resources are wasted due to inefficient and error-prone manual processes. The pilots confirmed our expectations that, across the industry, there is considerable demand for efficiency gains and opportunities coming from streamlining and standardizing information flows using digital solutions. 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. We look forward to further expanding our ecosystem of partners as we progress toward a global solution.”

The new company initially plans to commercialize two core capabilities aimed at digitizing the global supply chain from end-to-end:

- A shipping information pipeline will provide end-to-end supply chain visibility to enable all actors involved in managing a supply chain to securely and seamlessly exchange information about shipment events in real time.

- Paperless Trade will digitize and automate paperwork filings by enabling end-users to securely submit, validate and approve documents across organizational boundaries, ultimately helping to reduce the time and cost for clearance and cargo movement. Blockchain-based smart contracts ensure all required approvals are in place, helping speed up approvals and reducing mistakes.

Upon regulatory clearance, solutions from the joint venture are expected to become available within six months.

Source: IBM

Illustration Photo: Container ship (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

A Comprehensive IoT Node Proposal Using Open Hardware. A Smart Farming Use Case to Monitor Vineyards

The last decade has witnessed a significant reduction in prices and an increased performance of electronic components, coupled with the influence of the shift towards the generation of open resources, both in terms of knowledge (open access), programs (open-source software), and components (open hardware).

EU's Call for Proposals: Regenerative medicine: from new insights to new applications

Regenerative medicine offers hope for untreatable disease and the ageing population, improved quality of life and reduced medical costs. However, so far, regenerative medicine has not yet proved itself in the clinic beyond rare diseases or conditions of limited public health importance. With recent scientific discoveries opening up new approaches to regenerative medicine, the challenge is to use these to extend the regenerative approach to major diseases and conditions.
Application Deadline in 4 months

Mobile money holds key to financial inclusion in Africa, experts say

More than 10% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account, the highest in the world, and it is spreading to West Africa and beyond.

EU's Call for Proposals: Innovative approaches to urban and regional development through cultural tourism

The various forms of cultural tourism in Europe are important drivers of growth, jobs and economic development of European regions and urban areas. They also contribute, by driving intercultural understanding and social development in Europe through discovering various types of cultural heritage, to the understanding of other peoples' identities and values. However, although cultural tourism by its nature invites cross border regional and local cooperation, its full innovation potential in this respect is not yet fully explored and exploited.
Application Deadline in 3 months

UMITRON secures US$2 million project funding to deliver IoT and AI technology to drive growth of sustainable aquaculture

IDB Lab's grant resources will be used by UMITRON and Piscis to test and calibrate UMITRON's AI feeding technology. Additionally, funds will be used to both train local producers and scale up UMITRON's solution in the Lake Titicaca region. The end goal is to implement data-driven aquaculture feeding technology for farmers in Peru and eventually all of Latin America.

Call for applications: UN SDG Action Awards

Every year, the UN SDG Action Awards recognize individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, private sector leaders who are advancing the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way.
Application Deadline in a month

Call for applications: DOEN Foundation Circular Entrepreneurship Programme 2019 for young Social Entrepreneurs

DOEN is looking for sustainable, social entrepreneurs with innovative products or services that will contribute to the creation of this new circular economy. We are looking for people who dare to take risks and seize new opportunities. People who come up with new solutions or business models.
Application Deadline in 2 months

Call for collaborative projects: IoT4Industry - Application of IoT technologies in the manufacturing environment

The IoT4Industry project seeks to support EU growth and competitiveness through the development of a new cross-sectoral industrial value chain based on the integration and use of IoT and related components (sensors, chips, electronics component, communication networks, cloud computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, digital security, etc.) into manufacturing tools, machines and robots, industrial processes, factories environment, supply chain integration, intra logistics & logistics 4.0 product life cycle, smart packaging, etc.
Application Deadline in a day

ESA's Call for Proposals: Space and Biotechnology

The European Space Agency’s “Space and Biotechnology” opportunity offers support and funding to companies looking to develop biotechnology services that can benefit from using space-based data or capabilities.
Application Deadline in a month

The Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by NREL Announces First Cohort of Start-Ups

Each participating startup will receive as much as $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to aid in development and demonstration of its technology, with the opportunity for future follow-on funding and beta-testing with a strategic program partner, in addition to access to expertise and laboratory capabilities at both NREL and Shell.