(BlockBar) Shipping blockchain TradeLens which was developed by IBM and Maersk has finally recruited two major marine cargo carriers to the platform after its early marketing efforts floundered. The new additions include Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and CMA-CGM.
But the success of bringing a couple of Maersk’s rivals on to the IBM platform should not be underestimated in an industry with narrow margins for IT revamps.
It is to be noted that TradeLens has experienced difficulties attracting rival carriers to the platform over concerns that IBM and Maersk owned the intellectual property in a joint venture.
Although these concerns are somehow being addressed. According to an IBM spokeswoman: “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.”
Marie Wieck, the general manager for IBM Blockchain told:
“They [carriers] took a good hard look at this and saw the clear benefits of joining. This is real momentum that you are seeing in the market play out here. Now with CMA and MSC it really has reached a tipping point in terms of market maturity.”
CMA CGM and MSC will operate a blockchain node on the Hyperledger Fabric-based distributed ledger and participate in consensus to validate transactions. The carriers will assume the critical role of acting as Trust Anchors for the network.
Executive vice president for IT and transformations at CMA CGM Group, Rajesh Krishnamurthy said “We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation.TradeLens’ network is already showing that participants from across the supply chain ecosystem can derive significant value.”
Chief digital & information officer of MSC André Simha, said: “The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards. We think that the TradeLens Advisory Board, as well as standards bodies such as the Digital Container Shipping Association, will help accelerate that effort.”