Applications and Use Cases

IBM-Maersk TradeLens Platform Signs Up Two More Major Carriers


July 03, 2019

Two more major shipping companies have joined the TradeLens consortium.  The blockchain-based global shipping supply chain platform was developed as a joint project by IBM and Maersk.  The addition of Hapag-Lloyd and ONE (Ocean Network Express) – the 5th and 6th largest shipping companies in the world – mean five of the top six are now part of TradeLens. 

Only COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company), which tried to launch a competing platform with eight other ocean carriers and terminal operators last year, is not yet participating.  The fourth largest ocean carrier, CMA-CGM, was part of the initial nine that started the competing Global Shipping Business Network (GBSN), but perhaps seeing a lack of traction, signed on with TradeLens a little more than a month ago, when it also added MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), #2 in the world. 

“The addition of more leading carriers to TradeLens will help global supply chain customers expand and explore the benefits of digitization and deliver new opportunities to the increasing number of TradeLens ecosystem participants across the global supply chain,” said Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

TradeLens says its platform now handles more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo data, which is available, via its blockchain-based platform, to participating trading partners.  The single, shared, immutable transaction records ensure privacy and security while creating a real-time, transparent audit trail for shipments as cargo moves around the world.

“TradeLens has made significant progress in launching a much-needed transformation in the industry, including its partnership model.  Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, not to mention many other ecosystem participants, we can collectively accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade” said Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology at Hapag-Lloyd.

The TradeLens project was developed to modernize an inefficient and overly expensive supply chain ecosystem due to a manual, paper-based system.  By replacing legacy processes with a digitized platform, TradeLens allows partners to connect and share data and more effectively collaborate to ensure a better shipping process and drive new standards of excellence globally.

IBM’s Pramad Achanta described the platform as “FastPass for shipping,” when discussing the benefits of blockchain in shipping and other industries at The Blockchain Event 2019.

Blockchain use cases are being developed across a broad range of industries – some gaining more traction than other, but all of them showing why blockchain holds so much promise for innovative businesses.  The Blockchain Event 2020, taking place February 12-14, 2020, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, will continue to focus on how blockchain is being used in various industries – from shipping to banking to real estate and many others – to reshape industries and reinvent business models.  If you have a blockchain success story to share with other business leaders, we’d love to hear from you.


Edited by Erik Linask

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