IBM and Maersk christen ‘TradeLens’ and claim 90-plus partners

August 09, 2018
Chris Wheal

More than 90 companies have signed up to IBM and shipping giant Maersk’s global blockchain platform. IBM-Maersk have christened their new trade project TradeLens. TradeLens will extend across multiple entities including logistics companies, port operators to customs teams. 

IBM-Maersk appears to be going to some length to label the platform as a ‘collaboration’ rather than a ‘joint venture’ in an effort to increase participation and, possibly, allay worries over the technology. 

The World Economic Forum reckons fewer international supply chain barriers could increase global trade by 15%

Chargeable but beneficial claims IBM-Maersk

“At the time of the launch, we wanted to be clear that we were not offering a bespoke Maersk or IBM-only solution,” Michael White, Maersk’s head of global trade digitization, told CoinDesk.

Access to the TradeLens ledger will be chargeable, compared to ‘permissionless’ arrangements via ethereum, for example. Forbes estimates the venture as it stands represents more than 20% of the global supply chain market. 

“We have seen a lot of skeptics talk about the validity of blockchain solutions,” IBM head of blockchain, Marie Wieck, told the US business magazine. “And I think with over 90 organizations and over 150 million events captured on the system we really are seeing proof in the pudding in terms of where people are spending their time to get benefits from blockchain.”

17.5% off – claimed

IBM and Maersk – bringing together disparate and widely flung partners

It’s thought participating players may be able to snip costs by up to 17.5%, though this figure will likely rise proportionately higher for developing nations used to dealing with many more middle-men, in some circumstances. 

It has also emerged that the Customs Administration of the Netherlands has joined Trade Lens; the Dutch authority handles 15m containers a year. 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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