Agility signs on to Maersk-IBM blockchain project

Kuwaiti 3PL Agility Logistics has signed on as the first freight forwarder to collaborate with Maersk and IBM on a project that uses blockchain to manage and track container shipments.

As the forwarding partner in the project, Agility said it will “identify events associated with individual shipments and to share and receive information about them via the distributed ledger blockchain technology developed by IBM and Maersk.”

The last few years have seen a slew of innovating blockchain projects hit the market, garnering support from businesses across the logistics sector. One major benefit of blockchain technology is its ability to securely encode data, rendering sensitive information invisible – at least so far – to hackers.

As cybercrime grows more sophisticated, logistics companies are racing against the clock to lock down their data operations. That’s a lesson one of the partners on this project, Maersk, learned the hard way last year, when hackers stole significant amounts of data from the ocean container shipping company.

The Maersk-IBM-Agility project makes this encrypted data visible only to shippers, carriers, freight forwarders and others in the immediate supply chain.

“Blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable,” said Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. Al-Saleh noted that, by eliminating time-consuming paper transfers, blockchain could shorten transit and clearance times. These kinds of analog documentation and administration procedures are estimated to comprise one-fifth of the US$1.8 trillion spent annually to move goods across borders.

Those interested in learning more about how emerging technologies will impact the airfreight industry are invited to join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018 in Shanghai 23-25 April at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, where a round table panel will be dedicated to the topic. For more information, or to register, visit 

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