TradeLens, Maersk’s blockchain solution, adds ZIM

Dive Brief:

  • ZIM has signed on as a member of TradeLens, the blockchain solution from Maersk and IBM, making it the fourth carrier to join the platform after Maersk, PIL and Seaboard Marine. 
  • The container line said joining the blockchain platform is part of its vision to “be at the forefront of digital innovation in shipping.”
  • ZIM will begin contributing data to TradeLens before the end of Q3 2019. 

Dive Insight:

“The more carriers and other ecosystem members that join the platform, the closer we come to bringing about a new era in global trade,” said Mike White, TradeLens leader for Maersk, in a blog post.

Without several players in the shipping industry willing to share data with each other, transparency across the supply chain becomes futile. For this reason, the addition of ZIM to TradeLens can be considered a big win for the blockchain solution, allowing additional data to be shared across a network of terminal operators, port authorities, freight forwarders and container lines. 

A blog post from TradeLens said the platform has 60 network members and 100 ecosystem members and has recorded 5 million shipments so far. TradeLens now has the largest carrier on board (Maersk), in addition to the 10th (PIL), 11th (ZIM) and 35th (Seaboard Marine), according to Alphaliner data. Combined, they manage 4,862,422 TEUs and control roughly 21% of total market share.

But that figure is small compared to a rival blockchain platform in the ocean shipping industry that includes CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen Marine and Yang Ming. Together, the container lines manage 7,406,079 TEUs. 

TradeLens   Global Shipping Business Network  
Carrier TEUs Carrier TEUs
Maersk 4,115,597 COSCO 2,822,551
PIL 405,870 CMA CGM 2,661,799
ZIM 305,247 Evergreen 1,248,375
Seaboard Marine 35,708 Yang Ming 673,354
Total 4,862,422   7,406,079

Source: Alphaliner

With several of the top container lines signed on to a blockchain platform, it’s clear the industry sees the technology as valuable for transactions and transparency. The question is which solution will prevail.

It’s not surprising ZIM joined the Maersk platform, as the carriers have been cooperating in recent months. ZIM last summer agreed to jointly operate service loops with the 2M alliance.

ZIM also has previous experience working with blockchain to create bills of lading, which could prove advantageous to the TradeLens network in further advancing use cases for the solution.

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