Agility, a global logistics provider, is teaming up with Maersk and IBM to provide secure and efficient methods at tracking container shipments via the blockchain technology.

In January, it was reported that IBM and Maersk were launching an industry-wide trading platform aimed at speeding up trade and saving billions of dollars in the process. Built on the Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 blockchain, Agility is the latest company to take part in the collaboration, according to an announcement from the logistics company.

Previous participants that have piloted the platform include DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Michael J. White, CEO of IBM-Maersk, and previous chief of Maersk Line’s North American operations, said at the time that:

Our ambition is to apply these learnings to establish a fully open platform whereby all players in the global supply chain can participate and extract significant value.

Agility’s role is to identify events linked with individual shipments and to share and receive information about them via the blockchain. The aim is to reduce costs and increase shipping efficiency by putting information pertaining to shipments on a secure, distributed platform.

Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said:

Blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable. As early adopters, companies like Agility can help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient. We can help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors, and shorten transit and clearance times.

It’s estimated that one-fifth of the $1.8 trillion spent yearly to move goods across borders is spent on documentation and administration. It’s hoped, though, that the distributed ledger can reduce this in addition to showing the location of containers, the status of customs documents, bills of lading, and other documentation.

Al-Saleh added:

For Agility, it’s important to be involved early in blockchain and to work with forward-thinking companies like Maersk and IBM. Together, we have a lot to learn and share in order to bring the benefits of this technology to shippers and consumers as quickly as possible.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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