"The major advances IBM has made in blockchain have shown that the technology can foster new business models and play an important role in how the world works by building smarter businesses," says Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain. "Our joint venture with Maersk means we can now speed adoption of this exciting technology with the millions of organizations who play vital roles in one of the most complex and important networks in the world, the global supply chain. We believe blockchain will now emerge in this market as the leading way companies seize new untapped economic opportunities."
The new company initially plans to commercialize two core capabilities aimed at digitizing the global supply chain from end-to-end: A shipping information pipeline to provide end-to-end supply chain visibility for all actors involved; and Paperless Trade, which will digitize and automate paperwork filings by enabling end-users to securely submit, validate, and approve documents across organizational boundaries.
IBM and Maersk first began collaborating in 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, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The joint venture will now enable the platform to be commercialized and scaled to a broader group of global corporations and organizations. According to the companies, many corporations are already exploring ways to use the new platform, including General Motors, Procter and Gamble, and freight forwarder and logistic company, Agility Logistics. Additional customs and government authorities, say the companies, will explore collaborating with