It’s called TradeLens, a joint solution developed by two companies to digitalize the global supply chain in the blockchain.
This solution would allow promoting a more efficient and secure foreign trade by linking different parties for their interaction and sharing information, generating transparency. Additionally, TradeLens in its initial program will involve 94 organizations that have confirmed their participation in the decentralized tool.
Among these organizations are 20 operators of port terminals, the PIL container line together with Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd, customs authorities of the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Austrsalia and Peru as well as customs agents such as Ransa and Güler & Dinamik, Benefitial Cargo Owners (BCOs), freight forwarders, carriers and logistics companies.
TradeLens uses IBM blockchain technology as a foundation for its digital supply chain, empowering multiple stakeholders to collaborate and establish a shared vision of the transaction without compromising details, privacy and confidentiality. Access is given in real time to documents related to maritime transport including the IoT (Internet of things) and data on temperature and container weight.
Using smart contracts in blockchain, TradeLens allows the collaboration of the parties involved in the chain. For example, in the trade documents module, called ClearWay, allows importers / exporters, customs, customs agents, government agencies and NGOs to collaborate in inter-organizational processes, exchange of information all backed by auditable traceability non repudiable
During their 12-month trial period, Maersk and IBM worked with multiple partners to identify opportunities and prevent delays caused by documentation errors, information delays and other impediments. More than 154 million maritime processes have been handled through the platform, including information on the arrival of the ships, the “gate in” or delivery of the container and documents such as customs clearance, commercial invoices and transport document.
Maersk and IBM have modified the tool to be a market model and will now deliver their solution through an extension of their pre-existing collaboration agreement instead of the partnership in a joint venture.
Actions in the future
Discussions on standards are ongoing with openshipping.org and work to align TradeLens APIs with UN / CEFACT standards is in progress. The TradeLens APIs are open and available for developer access and comments from participants on the platform.
The solution is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.