Jan 16, 2018 4:01 AM
PT Maersk and IBM today announced a joint venture to deploy a blockchain-based  electronic shipping system that will digitize supply chains and track international cargo in real time. The new platform could save the global shipping industry billions of dollars a year by replacing the current EDI- and paper-based system, which can leave containers in receiving yards for weeks, according to the companies.

Blockchain will enable a single view via a virtual dashboard of all goods and shipping information for all parties involved, from manufacturers and shippers to port authorities and government agencies. As an immutable, distributed ledger, blockchain technology will also improve security, according to Michael White, former president of Maersk Line in North America and CEO of the new company.

“With blockchain, the improvement in security is significant with the double encryption,” White said. “And one of the advantages of blockchain is the immutable record and trust people can have in it.

If anything changes in a document…, it’s immediately apparent to all.” Blockchain’s native immutability as a distributed ledger will also create an automatic audit trail for regulators, something with which the industry has struggled.

Along with paper legal documents, much of the international shipping industry’s information has been transmitted via electronic data interchange (EDI) – a 60-year-old technology. But once shipping manifests move to API-based technology on the new platform, shippers and everybody else in the supply chain will have more timely information and improved visibility, White said. Read more from computerworld.com…

thumbnail courtesy of computerworld.com