IBM, Maersk To Discontinue Blockchain-powered Shipping Platform TradeLens

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Danish transport and logistics giant A.P. Moller-Maersk and IT major IBM are set to discontinue its blockchain-powered shipping platform TradeLens, with the platform to go offline by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

"TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitization as an open and neutral industry platform. Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved," said Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms at A.P. Moller-Maersk.

Hershko added that TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business.

The solution is jointly developed by Maersk and IBM as a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade.

The platform was launched in August 2018, just six months after the blockchain collaboration between IBM and GTD Solution, a division of Maersk, was announced in January 2018.

The companies said all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses during the shutdown process.

Meanwhile, Maersk said it will continue its efforts to digitize the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade. It will continue to offer their renowned and innovative digital products that will further supply chain - DigitalLCL, MyCustoms and Maersk Flow.

The TradeLens platform has helped users to reduce administrative costs, increase efficiency, and contribute to the global trend of openness and transparency in logistics. TradeLens is claimed to reduce the transit time of a shipment by 40 percent, which represents thousands of dollars in cost saving.

The platform brought transparency to end-to-end container shipping-related data by providing connected parties with a single point of contact. At all times the data is controlled and managed by the data owner while it remains easily accessible to authorized parties on blockchain.

The TradeLens ecosystem includes global shippers, shipping lines, third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, customs authorities and border agencies. It provides visibility across the entire supply chain, integrating data from several points.

The platform has the data for more than half of the world's ocean container cargo on the blockchain network after the addition of five of the top six shipping carriers, including Maersk itself, on the network.

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