Maersk and IBM will wind down their shipping blockchain TradeLens by early 2023, ending the pair’s five year project to improve global trade by connecting supply chains on a permissioned blockchain.
TradeLens emerged during the “enterprise blockchain” era of 2018 as a high-flying effort to make inter-corporate trade more efficient. Open to shipping and freight operators, its members could validate the transaction of goods as recorded on a transparent digital ledger.
The idea was to save its member-shipping companies money by connecting their world. But the network was only as strong as its participants; despite some early wins, TradeLens ultimately failed to catch on with a critical mass of its target industry.
“TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business,” Maersk Head of Business Platforms Rotem Hershko said in a statement.