Applications and Use Cases

Maersk and IBM Embark on Joint Blockchain Venture


February 20, 2018

A.P. Moller-Maersk and IBM recently announced their interest to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology. The idea behind the partnership will be to join these two companies in order to jointly develop a global trade digitization platform. It will be built on open standards and be designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem. The new company will also assist in the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

“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, 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.”

Blockchain technology is ideally suited for large networks of unlikely partners. As a distributed ledger technology, blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network. The technology enables permissioned parties to have access to trusted data in real time. By using the technology to digitize global trade processes, a new form of command and consent can be introduced into the flow of information. This will empower multiple trading partners to collaborate and establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. 

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

The platform is built on IBM Blockchain technology, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. This is a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

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