Maersk and IBM pull the plug on TradeLens


AP Moller-Maersk and IBM are discontinuing their blockchain platform TradeLens, which has failed in its ambition to revolutionize the shipping industry. The platform will go offline around the end of the first quarter of 2023.

TradeLens has built a network of more than 300 members, including ocean freight carriers Alianca, CMA CGM, Hamburg-Sud, MSC, Seaboard, Safmarine, Sealand, SPL and Zim, as well as numerous terminals, inland depots, customs authorities and intermodal providers. Nevertheless, Maersk has announced that the platform is no longer sufficiently viable.

Shipping revolution

TradeLens launched in 2018 as a joint initiative between A.P. Moller-Maersk and IBM. The platform was intended to revolutionize shipping and create a cheaper, safer and more efficient global supply chain. In addition, it was supposed to serve as a real-life example of how blockchain technology could be applied in the transport and logistics industry.

However, other industry players had their doubts about the project from the start. According to Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms at Maersk, this was the main reason for the failure of TradeLens: “TradeLens was founded on the bold vision of creating an open and neutral industry platform to advance supply chain digitalization worldwide. Although we successfully developed a viable platform, unfortunately the need for full global industry collaboration was not met.”


The heavy involvement of Danish transport company Maersk, which itself is a major player in container shipping, presumably deterred some competitors from agreeing to cooperate with TradeLens. Maersk has indicated that it is now looking for new ways to further digitalize the sector.