A new cooperation of the world’s largest container line MAERSK with IBM is the latest project to digitize Maersk´s container shipping process. By using a blockchain solution the line wants to improve the transparency and security of information between the involved partners in the supply chain.

“When adopted at scale, the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars,” the two companies said in a statement.

Blockchains are an open distributed ledger where each block is linked to the last that was initially utilised in the digital currency BitCoin and is now being seen as a way to secure a large number of digital processes.

Maersk and IBM hope for massive savings of costs and material by

– reducing of fraud and errors

– improving inventory management

– reducing the time products spend in the transit and shipping process


The complexities of the current process can be seen by the fact that a shipment of refrigerated goods from East Africa to Europe can go through nearly 30 people and organisations and more than 200 interactions and communications between them. The costs of trade documentation processing and administration are estimated to be up to one-fifth of the actual transportation costs. As a result the new solution should bring down these numbers.

Ibrahim Gokcen, Maersk chief digital officer: “We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries.”

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Industry Platforms, IBM: “We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done.”