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            november 12, 2019

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Agility joins IBM-Maersk blockchain platform for supply chain industry


Agility, a third-party logistics provider, has announced that it will join a platform being developed by Maersk and IBM using Blockchain technology to manage, track and streamline container shipping in a way that would dramatically increase transparency across the entire supply chain.
Agility said it has agreed to identify events associated with individual shipments and to share and receive information concerning these and other related events using blockchain, a distributed ledger or decentralised database that keeps continuously updated digital and permanent records of events, including transactions.
"In addition to showing the location of containers in transit, blockchain can show the status of customs documents, bills of lading and other documentation," Agility Global Integrated Logistics chief executive officer Essa Al-Saleh was quoted as saying in a report by American Shipper.
"It can improve workflow, cut processing costs and enhance visibility by integrating shipping processes and partners. Customs and border authorities can use the technology to improve the information available for risk analysis, leading to increased safety and security as well as greater efficiency in border inspection clearance."
IBM and Maersk announced their initiative in January, with an aim of attract other parties to use their platform, including freight forwarders, shippers and other shipping lines.
"Blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable," said Mr Al-Saleh. "As early adopters, companies like Agility can help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient.
"We can help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors, and shorten transit and clearance times."
Agility noted that documentation and administration are estimated to account for one-fifth of the US$1.8 trillion spent annually to move goods across borders.
There are a host of technology providers aiming to introduce blockchain-based solutions into the international shipping industry across a number of areas such as product provenance and trade finance.
Additionally, standards organisations, including the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BITA), aim to bring a wide cross-section of freight entities across transportation modes together to develop blockchain standards so that individual formats don't emerge.

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