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Blockchain coming of age

Supply chain managers have yet to fully embrace the power of blockchain technology, say analysts, but the advance seems all but inexorable.
By Patrick Burnson
May 4, 2017

Two blue chip players in today’s global supply chain marketplace recently announced that they plan to introduce a “transformational” service designed to expedite ocean cargo shipping and mitigate supply chain risk.

Maersk, which has partnered with the Chinese e-commerce provider Alibaba, is now joining IBM in a widely celebrated effort to introduce blockchain technology to link supply chain managers, freight forwarders, other ocean carriers, ports and Customs authorities. The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk is designed to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners. When adopted at-scale, the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars, says Maersk.

“We expect this to not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries,” says Ibrahim Gokcen, Maersk’s chief digital officer.

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Two blue chip players in today’s global supply chain marketplace recently announced that they plan to introduce a “transformational” service designed to expedite ocean cargo shipping and mitigate supply chain risk.

Maersk, which has partnered with the Chinese e-commerce provider Alibaba, is now joining IBM in a widely celebrated effort to introduce blockchain technology to link supply chain managers, freight forwarders, other ocean carriers, ports and Customs authorities. The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk is designed to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners. When adopted at-scale, the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars, says Maersk.

“We expect this to not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries,” says Ibrahim Gokcen, Maersk’s chief digital officer.

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About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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