The IBM and Maersk blockchain shipping solution, built on the Hyperledger Fabric platform, has been developed to streamline the administration process and reduce the world’s total $1.8 trillion annual shipping costs.
Initially, some were sceptical that the competing counterparties required to participate, could hinder the project. However, at a press conference in 2018, Michael White, the joint venture’s CEO told the press:
“This is not a bespoke Maersk system” adding “This is going to be an industry-wide, open platform solution for all ecosystem participants.”
Since the launch of the Pilot, the project has received much support from some of the biggest players in the industry, with DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, the Netherlands and the U.S. Customs authorities participating.
Now Agility, a global third-party logistics provider, has confirmed that they too are collaborating in the project to “help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient.”
In an interview with American Shipper, Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics said:
“Blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable.”
Denmark based, AP Moller-Maersk is the world’s largest overseas cargo and freight carrier. With 324 offices in 115 countries, they ship an estimated $675 billion worth of goods each year, close to the total GDP of Switzerland.
Using the blockchain ledger technology, all relevant parties in the trade will be able to securely view the status of documents, such as customs forms, allowing for shipments to clear inspections much faster.
According to The World Economic Forum, by reducing barriers within the international supply chain, global trade could increase by almost 15 percent, boosting economies and creating jobs.
As it stands, 80 percent of the goods consumers use daily are carried by the ocean shipping industry, one-fifth of the transportation costs of these goods, can be attributed to the required administration process.
Michael White, the former president of Maersk Line in North America stated that:
“The joint venture could be up and running by July, pending regulatory approval in some countries. It will run from U.S. offices, in New York.”