Maersk and IBM decide to discontinue Tradelens platform

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Maersk and IBM today have announced their decision to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform entirely.

Maersk and IBM decide to discontinue Tradelens platform
Photo: Maersk press materials

In a press release, the two parties said that the TradeLens team had begun taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, which is scheduled to go offline by end of Q1 2023.

The companies stress that during this process, “all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses”.

In a statement, Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms at A.P. Moller – Maersk, suggested TradeLens had been discontinued due to a lack of global industry collaboration:

“TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitization as an open and neutral industry platform. 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.”

Maersk says it will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation “through other solutions” 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. 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,” added Hershko.

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

The platform’s use of blockchain, as well as its demise, has sparked plenty of debate online about the outlook for blockchain in the supply chain, as well as the future of digitalisation in shipping.

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