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Logistics and transportation of International Container Cargo ship
Image courtesy of Thinkstock.

IBM’s Latest Blockchain Solution Targets Global Supply Chains

The company invests in blockchain as a way for industries to directly record encrypted transactions in a public or private ledger without having to pass information through a centralized processor or third party first.

IBM teams up with Danish transport and logistics company, Maersk to develop a blockchain solution for the global trade industry. The solution is expected to save customers money by reducing paperwork and streamlining documentation across the supply chain. It is slated to be delivered by Q3 2018.

The platform will be powered by Linux’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, which supports the creation of smart contracts and documents for businesses and high-security transactions. It will be built on open standards for documenting trade across borders and trade zones, and will store this information immediately in a blockchain ledger.

To produce a complete solution, Maersk will depend on its network of ports and customs authorities, shippers, and freight forwarders to participate in the ledger. The company has been working with IBM for almost two years to gather data from its network so it can build a streamlined and navigable platform for recording transactions over products’ shipping life.

This just one example of how IBM leverages blockchain to enter markets from healthcare to banking. It has recently partnered with Walmart to change how it manages shipping for perishables. Now, by entering the global trade industry, it will compete with other global-trade service providers like CargoX, which also has blockchain solution for creating and storing documents used in global trade.

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