Danish carrier Maersk and IBM announced the decision to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform.

"The TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, and the intent is that the platform will go offline by the end of quarter one, 2023. During this process all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses," says a release from Maersk.

Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms, Maersk says: "TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitisation as an open and neutral industry platform. Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved. As a result, TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business."

Maersk will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade, the release added.

"We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents who together have worked diligently to advance the digitalisation of the industry through the TradeLens platform. We will leverage the work of TradeLens as a stepping stone to further push our digitisation agenda and look forward to harnessing the energy and ability of our technology talent in new ways," Hershko added.

The TradeLens platform was announced in 2018 and jointly developed by IBM and GTD Solution, a division of Maersk, as a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade.

"This should not be seen as an indication that blockchain does not have a place in shipping - it likely does for some uses," container shipping expert Lars Jensen said in his LinkedIn post.

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