Second And Fourth Largest Shipping Firms In The World Join IBM, Maersk Blockchain Platform
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Second And Fourth Largest Shipping Firms In The World Join IBM, Maersk Blockchain Platform

TradeLens, a Blockchain shipping platform built by IBM and Maersk, has received two major global shipping firms into the fold according to Reuters reports made on the 28th of May.

IBM And Maersk To Remain Sole Owners Of The Platform

The new recruits are MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), which is the second largest shipping firm in the world, and CMA CGM, the fourth largest container shipping firm. The new additions join firms like Hamburg Süd, a subsidiary of Maersk, PIL (Pacific International Lines) and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. According to IBM, these firms combined represent almost half of the container cargo data in the world.

TradeLens, which was launched roughly a year ago, also accommodates more than 100 supply chain operators within the shipping and freight forwarding industry among them being port operators as well as cargo owners. It is however a major achievement bringing in some of the largest firms in the industry considering the limited need for revamping IT and the deep rooted distrust among competitors.

The platform had initially had difficulties in its marketing efforts as many rival carriers had concerns about the ownership of the intellectual property. Rumors had it that Maersk and IBM owned it in a joint venture. An IBM spokeswoman has addressed these concerns by saying that IBM and Maersk will continue being the sole owners of the platform which is aimed at creating an environment where various competitors will be able to co-exist. According to the spokeswoman, MSC and CMA CGM will be playing a role on the advisory board based on the shared dedication to open governance.

TradeLens Key To Digital Transformation In The Shipping Industry

IBM Blockchain’s general manager Marie Wieck has said that the firm will be sticking to the open source architectural principles of its Blockchain. She however emphasized that each firm will own its own data and reserve the right to authorize who sees what as well as set the privacy implications. Wieck stated that the carriers have taken a good look at the platform and have seen the benefits of joining adding that the joining of the two firms have shown that the platform is reaching a tipping point with regards to market maturity.

shipping digital transformation

The two newly added firms will control the functioning of a Blockchain node on the distributed ledger that is based on the Hyperledger Fabric. They will also take part in the consensus which will be validating transactions. In this way, the participating carriers will be acting as Trust Anchors for the platform. Additionally, IBM has said that both CMA CGM and MSC will be part of the TradeLens Advisory Board, helping to promote the platform’s neutrality.

CMA CGM Group’s IT and transformations executive vice president Rajesh Krishnamurthy said in a statement that the firm believes that the platform is the key to ushering in digital transformation: with its dedication to open governance and standards.

An All In One Solution

The TradeLens shipping solution, which was launched in August last year, integrates the IoT (internet of things) with sensor data.

May 29, 2019

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Samantha Mitchell


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