TradeLens is the name given to a collaborative effort between global shipping corporation Maersk and computing giant IBM to create a blockchain-based logistics platform for the shipping industry.
Following an announcement last year of the venture, the platform has now gone live and has over 94 corporations onboard including customs authorities, banks, logistics firms, and carriers. Currently, the system is still in beta-testing mode but is already supporting over 150 million shipping transactions monitored from 25 maritime terminals.
Already, as many as 20 land and sea ports globally are presently utilizing the TradeLens blockchain system to share data in a fast, secure and reliable fashion. Confidential data such as contracts and customs info is entrusted with confidence to the new decentralized network.
However, IBM has found that a number of improvements still need to be made to the system before it can fully replace existing models. Currently, it doesn’t aggregate events in a way that complies with government requirements and further standards between land and ocean-based shipping need refinement.
Additionally, until antiquated systems associated with shipping have been upgraded, the system will not be able to achieve one of its main goals of eliminating paper usage. While the system still requires a number of further developments, it represents one of the best examples of how blockchain technology can improve current data management systems.
With the launch of the new venture, IBM further entrenches its involvement in blockchain technology, following previous projects earlier this year involving cross-border payments and an Australian government-backed security deal.
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