Blockchain Platform From Maersk and IBM Set For Deployment

Announcements, Blockchain | February 7, 2018 By:

Logistics firm Agility is the first freight forwarder to apply the blockchain platform developed by Maersk Line and IBM.

Agility is a publicly traded global logistics company headquartered in Kuwait. It provides freight forwarding, transportation, warehousing, and supply chain management services to businesses, governments, international institutions, and relief agencies worldwide. Agility has more than 22,000 employees and 500 offices in 100 countries.

Last month, Maersk and IBM launched a joint venture that applies blockchain technology to create a transparent, indelible trail of each transaction. The blockchain platform is designed to 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.

Agility said it has agreed to use the blockchain platform to identify events associated with individual shipments and to share and receive information about them. The goal is to reduce costs and increase shipping efficiency by integrating information about shipments onto a secure platform accessible to shippers, carriers, freight forwarders and others in the supply chain.

Agility noted that documentation and administration are estimated to account for one-fifth of the $1.8 trillion spent annually to move goods across borders. The logistics provider said that in addition to showing the location of containers in transit, the technology can show the status of customs documents, bills of lading and other documentation.

“It can improve workflow, cut processing costs and enhance visibility by integrating shipping processes and partners,” Agility said. “Customs and border authorities can use the technology to improve the information available for risk analysis, leading to increased safety and security as well as greater efficiency in border inspection clearance.”

Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said that blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable.

“As early adopters, companies like Agility can help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient,” said Al-Saleh. “We can help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors, and shorten transit and clearance times.”

With its distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts, blockchain has been considered by the shipping industry for reducing cost, increasing efficiency and even for creating new revenue streams.

In December 2017, Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary and technology provider of tech giant Samsung, successfully concluded a 7-month pilot of the application of blockchain technology to actual logistics locations in Korea’s shipping industry.