Understanding IBM’s Partnership with Maersk

The freight industry and blockchain technology

To increase its pace in blockchain technology, IBM (IBM) earlier this week announced a partnership with Maersk, an international freight company. In collaboration with Maersk, IBM aims to deliver first blockchain project for freight industry that will manage, digitalize, and track shipping transactions by end of 2017.

This project would facilitate the real-time exchange of documents and transactions in the supply chain industry through a digital infrastructure.

Understanding IBM’s Partnership with Maersk

Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of industry platforms, stated: “Working closely with Maersk for years, we’ve long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem.”

IBM’s and Maersk collaborative blockchain product will likely not only help in the reduction of errors but also in the time spent in the transfer and shipping process.

Open source Hyperledger

IBM’s and Maersk’s blockchain platform is based on the open-source Hyperledger. Hyperledger, a Linux open-source project, is a collective effort to accelerate blockchain technology. In collaboration with banks and technology players such as Intel (INTC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), CME Group, and DTCC, IBM is promoting the Hyperledger Project.

Blockchain can be referred to as a simple ledger, which is operated by a set of algorithms that keep it not only secure but also up to date. Blockchain applications are also referred to as distributed ledger technology. Since they’re decentralized, they eliminate the need for a centralized database.

A series of initiatives

Partnering with Maersk is the latest in the series of initiatives IBM has undertaken to promote its technology. It opened a blockchain innovation center in Singapore in July 2016. In late June 2016, IBM, in collaboration with Japan-based (EWJ) Mizuho Financial Group, announced a blockchain test for putting the technology into use in settlement procedures.

IBM isn’t the only technology player with its eyes on blockchain technology as a new avenue for revenue growth. In April 2016, Microsoft (MSFT) partnered with R3CV to develop blockchain technology.

Continue to the next part for a closer look at IBM Q’s quantum systems.