Maersk-IBM Blockchain JV Gets Nod from EU Regulator

Danish A.P. Møller Mærsk group (Maersk) has secured clearance from the European Commission for its proposed creation of a joint venture with the U.S.-based IT expert International Business Machines (IBM).

The blockchain joint venture was announced in January this year targeting the development and commercialization of a new digitization solution intended to provide end to end shipment visibility and document management for the global trade.

“The commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the limited overlap between the joint venture’s digitization solution and the companies’ activities,” the commission said.

The duo said that the platform would be designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem and address the need for greater transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

In addition, the blockchain technology solution aims to cut transport costs of goods.

The new platform would also employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders.

The new company, which will be set up in New York, initially plans to commercialize two core capabilities:

– A shipping information pipeline which will provide end-to-end supply chain visibility to enable all actors involved in managing a supply chain to securely and seamlessly exchange information about shipment events in real time.

– Paperless Trade, which will digitize and automate paperwork filings by enabling end-users to securely submit, validate and approve documents across organizational boundaries, ultimately helping to reduce the time and cost for clearance and cargo movement.

Maersk and IBM expect to secure regulatory clearances by the end of the first half of 2018.