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For customs authorities, the solution is intended to give real time visibility, and for shippers, it could help reduce trade documentation and processing costs.
Danish shipping company Maersk and Armonk, N.Y.-based global technology company IBM announced a new collaboration to use blockchain technology to help transform the global, cross-border supply chain.
IBM and Maersk are developing the new global trade digitization solution using the Hyperledger Fabric framework, and it is expected to go into production later this year.
Both companies said they intend to work with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to build the new solution.
“The solution will help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among the trading partners,” according to an IBM press release.
IBM said the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars, and noted how costs associated with trade documentation processing and administration are estimated to be up to one-fifth the actual physical transportation costs.
For shippers, the planned solution can help reduce trade documentation and processing costs, and help eliminate delays associated with errors in the physical movement of paperwork.
For customs authorities, the solution is intended to give real time visibility, significantly boosting the information available for risk analysis and targeting, which could eventually lead to increased safety and security as well as greater efficiency in border inspection clearance procedures.
“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,” said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer for A.P. Moller-Maersk.