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Container transport companies CMA, CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company have joined TradeLens. The blockchain-based shipping tool is an initiative of IBM and the Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk.

TradeLens ensures that by using blockchain the participants can easily track shipments throughout the entire process. The system gives confidence that unchanged data has not been changed at any time. It has been known for some time that container transport could benefit from digitisation. However, earlier attempts to do so, as made with the help of EDI, were unsuccessful, according to TechCrunch.

Global cargo container shipments

By connecting the three container transport companies, the TradeLens consortium now accounts for almost half of all cargo container shipments worldwide. We believe TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation, said Rajesh Krishnamurthy, executive vice president for IT & Transformations at CMA CGM Group.

Shipping has always been a paper-intensive and largely manual process. Identifying where a container is in the world or which government agency might be blocking it is still seen as a challenge. It can sometimes take weeks to collect all the paperwork generated during the journey from the factory or field to the market. The more shipping companies and neighbouring entities join TradeLens, the more effective it will ultimately be.

More effective through expansion

The blockchain offers a few clear advantages over previous methods. It’s safer because data is being distributed. The built-in digital coding also makes it safer. The biggest advantage, however, is the visibility it offers.

Each participant can monitor every aspect of the flow in real time. An auditor or other authority can easily follow the whole process from start to finish by clicking on a block in the blockchain. Instead of manually retrieving data from each entity each time, Marie Wieck, Managing Director of IBM Blockchain, observes.

Read also: Bicycle blockchain platform IBM must prevent theft

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.