Logistics provider Agility is the first freight forwarder to collaborate on a Maersk-IBM solution by using blockchain technology to manage and track container shipments.
Agility has agreed to identify events associated with individual shipments and to share and receive information about them via the distributed ledger blockchain technology developed by IBM and Maersk.
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.
“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 Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics.
“We can help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors, and shorten transit and clearance times,” Al-Saleh added.
Blockchain is a secure, immutable and tamper-resistant ledger that can be used to track shipments, documentation and payment transactions. Its digital infrastructure can connect parties in the supply chain, giving them access to information and real-time visibility based on their level of permission.
In mid-January 2018, Maersk and IBM unveiled their plan to set up a joint venture aimed at offering a global trade digitization platform by using blockchain technology.
The parties said that, aside to the use of blockchain technology to power the new platform, they would employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders.
Upon regulatory clearance, solutions from the joint venture are expected to become available within six months.