TradeLens, a project announced in August 2018, with the aim to digitize the global supply chain through blockchain technology is gaining movement. The partnership project between IBM and the shipping conglomerate Maersk is now including leading players in its team.
Companies Partnering with TradeLens Project
Our billion-dollar supply chain industry has largely been dominated by manual processes, lengthy operations, and paper-based practices. However, industry players and governments around the globe are now turning to modern innovations like blockchain and IoT. Recently, in mid-2019, two of the world’s largest shipping companies- MSC and CMA CGM have also joined the TradeLens wagon.
With the addition of these shipping firms into the consortium, TradeLens controls more than 50% of the cargo sent annually. Furthermore, the platform already has more than 100 participants. This includes port operators, logistics companies, shipping lines administrators, and customs authorities.
Additionally, the government authorities and organizations from Australia, Canada, South Korea, Abu Dabhi are equally willing to join the TradeLens blockchain ecosystem. Recently, Thailand Customs Department has also started to implement TradeLens Blockchain to improve efficiency on its Thai ports.
The Success of the TradeLens Pilot Project
The TradeLens project aims to develop a sustainable global supply chain using the principles of blockchain technology. It intends to revolutionize the sector with digitizing operations, connecting multiple stakeholders on a unified platform, reducing freight times along with achieving a high level of transparency and security. Following this, one of its key principles has been to automate tasks with the help of blockchain-powered smart contracts and IoT devices. Moreover, each interaction between a smart contract and a smart device is recorded and stored on the immutable database.
Last year, TradeLens rolled out a beta project to test the efficiency of a blockchain-based supply chain model. The analysis revealed valuable information which further confirmed the concept of TradeLens. By underpinning blockchain for shipping supply, the amount and cost of paperwork are considerably reduced. Furthermore, the time duration to conduct operations were also significantly reduced. Consequently, the speed of workflow became much faster and productive.
The Future for TradeLens
Even though the platform has achieved success and appreciation in a short duration, it has its future plans mapped out. In a recent interview, Richard Stockley, head of IBM’s global trade applications of blockchain, reported that the company has planned two major goals in the upcoming year.
The first one is that it wants to strengthen the core platform of its platform. Simultaneously, it also wants to enhance information sharing and thereby automate different tasks inside the supply chain. Furthermore, the plans include enabling paperless transfers with minimal hassle and developing applications on top of the TradeLens platform which reduces financial crimes.
An early solution of enterprise blockchain applications, TradeLens has managed to become an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. With its innovative structure, it has indeed managed to capture the attention of the leaders in the logistics sector. In the long run, it will become imperative to use innovative methods such as blockchain to drive higher efficiencies.
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