International shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk is partnering with IBM to build a blockchain-based platform that seeks to make global trade more efficient.
As reported by Reuters, blockchain technology powers the digital currency bitcoin and Maersk and IBM are aiming to make it the industry standard for shipping.
The platform will be made available to the shipping industry by mid-2018 – although it is dependent on both companies convincing the industry, as a whole, to get on board.
When built, the technology will be able to track tens of millions of shipping containers globally and sure up cyber threats to current shipping communication systems.
“The big thing that is missing from this industry to digitize and unleash the potential of the technology is really to create a form of utility that brings standards across the entire ecosystem,” Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc told Reuters.
“There is a strong push from the end-customer to see this change. We may meet initial resistance form one part of the ecosystem. The success of the platform depends on acceptance of all participants.”
Maersk sold its energy business last year and now focuses entirely on transportation and logistics.
The venture has already received interest from customs and port authorities in the US, Singapore, the Netherlands, and China’s Guangdong province, it was also reported.