The shipping and logistics giant, Maersk has joined forces with tech leader IBM to deploy blockchain technology for global, cross-border supply chain applications. The collaborators have made use of Hyperledger project’s Fabric blockchain to develop the distributed ledger solution.
The announcement, made in a recent press release states that the companies will be making the blockchain solution available for the global shipping and logistics industry. The Hyperledger Fabric based solution will make it easier for the logistics companies to manage and keep track of the paper trail of millions of shipping containers that are constantly in motion. The use of distributed ledger also imparts an unprecedented level of transparency while enabling secure information sharing channel between the trading partners.
Given the size of the international cross-border shipping industry, a wide-scale implementation of blockchain technology will help the companies save billions of dollars. According to the report, both IBM and Maersk will be working together with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to introduce a universal blockchain solution. The use of blockchain technology to track items through the entire supply chain is not a new thing. Few startups are already working on creating solutions to track the movement of products from the point of origin/source to supermarket shelves. The use of blockchain technology to prevent counterfeiting is also another use case that is being diligently pursued by some.
The chief digital officer at Maersk, Ibrahim Gokcen said,
“As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security. The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries.”
The blockchain solution offers real-time information of each container in transit and the immutable nature of blockchain also ensures the integrity of records. It will, in turn, reduce the instances of fraud and errors while increasing the efficiency of the whole process.
Hyperledger Fabric, an initiative Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project has been declared production ready. The platform is expected to be officially launched by the end of this month. Once launched, one can expect more developer communities and companies to come up with unique applications of the distributed ledger.
Ref: Yahoo Finance | Image: IBM