IBM and Maersk, the largest container ship operator on the planet, have completed an end-to-end digitised supply chain pilot using distributed ledger technology. The blockchain, deployed using Hyperledger Fabric, will begin scaling a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities later this year.
There are some compelling metrics. Of the 70 million containers shipped each year, the goal is get 10 million of them on this blockchain by year-end, said IBM. Container shipping equals about half the value of all maritime trade – a large chunk of global GDP. IBM reckons that going entirely digital could save shipping carriers about $38bn per year.