IBM, Maersk sign shipping giants to TradeLens blockchain

The world’s first shipping Blockchain, TradeLens has secured the buy-in of two of the world’s largest cargo carrying and shipping companies.

TradeLens Blockchain was developed by IBM and Maersk.

The major sign ups to the blockchain are Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the second largest after Maersk; and CMA-CGM, the fourth largest in terms of cargo carrying capacity.

The duo of MSC and CMA-CGM will now be joining other carriers Asia’s Pacific International Lines (PIL), Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and Maersk subsidiary Hamburg Süd.

The IBM and Maersk initially failed in their attempts at getting major shipping giants to sign up to the blockchain.

The sign ups is historic given the distrust in the global shipping markets. Competitors were said to have shun TradeLens because IBM and Maersk owned the intellectual property which will make them mere customers on the platform.

However, IBM and Maersk are still not sharing nor diluting their ownership of TradeLens.

According to CoinDesk:

IBM and Maersk continue to be the sole owners of the TradeLens platform. The nature of an effective blockchain is to create an environment where multiple parties, often competitors, want to co-exist. Both CMA CGM and MSC are participating on the advisory board as part of the shared commitment to open governance.”

Clarifying the mode of operation on the blockchain, IBM said:

CMA CGM and MSC will operate a blockchain node on the Hyperledger Fabric-based distributed ledger and participate in consensus to validate transactions.

The two carriers will assume the critical role of acting as Trust Anchors, or validators, for the network.

However, as a trade-off, IBM disclosed that, CMA CGM and MSC will be on the TradeLens Advisory Board to help promote the neutrality of the platform.