IBM and Maersk discontinue blockchain trade platform

  • December 12, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

AP Moller-Maersk and IBM are to discontinue TradeLens, their blockchain-enabled global trade platform.

“TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitisation as an open and neutral industry platform,” said Rotem Hershko, head of business platforms at Maersk. “Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved. As a result, TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business.”

The TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, and the intent is that the platform will go offline by end of the first quarter of 2023. During this process, Maersk says all parties involved will ensure customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses.

Maersk says it will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other methods to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

“We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents, who together have worked diligently to advance the digitalisation of the industry through the TradeLens platform,” said Hershko. “We will leverage the work of TradeLens as a steppingstone to further push our digitisation agenda and look forward to harnessing the energy and ability of our technology talent in new ways.”

The TradeLens platform was announced in 2018 and jointly developed by IBM and GTD, a division of Maersk, as blockchain-enabled shipping technology designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade.

Danish shipping firm Maersk is an integrated logistics company working to connect and simplify supply chains. The company operates in 130 countries, and employs more than 100,000 people. Maersk is aiming to become climate-neutral by 2040.