Maersk and IBM form Blockchain venture

Written by Mark Evans
16/01/2018

Maersk and IBM will establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.

The JV will offer a global trade digitisation platform built on open standards for the global shipping ecosystem. It will address the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

With more than $4 trillion in goods shipped each year, the cost of processing and administering the required trade documentation can reach one-fifth of the actual physical transportation costs, and according to The World Economic Forum, reducing barriers within the international supply chain could increase global trade by nearly 15 per cent.

IBM and Maersk began collaboration in June 2016 to build new blockchain and cloud-based technologies. Since then, multiple parties have piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, US Customs and Border Protection. The joint venture will now enable IBM and Maersk to scale their solutions to a broader group of global corporations, with General Motors and Procter and Gamble already showing interest.

Maersk and IBM have named Michael White, former president of Maersk Line in North America, as CEO of the new company that will be headquartered in the New York metropolitan area.