Taking collaboration to the next level

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Nis to meet you.

Just so you know, that intro line was not my idea, but my team loved it… so I was open to it.

Openness is everything today. It’s the mantra behind what we’re doing at TradeLens and it’s the means by which we are blazing the way into bringing blockchain to transportation.

So much is happening over here on TradeLens that we decided it was high time for me to start blogging about it; rather than keep the developments to ourselves. In the spirit of creating a true solution for the industry, we’re throwing the doors wide open—to ideas, opinions, approaches, you name it. We’re getting involved with the U.N. and exchanging ideas with industry leaders. These things have accelerated our progress and helped crystalize our focus.

As a lead IT Architect for the TradeLens solution, I’ll be blogging about the progress we’re making, ways pilots are helping us develop the technology, our successes and all the things we’re learning along the way. Our team has adopted the path of deep collaboration with organizations and individuals from every aspect of transportation and logistics. Every day I’m seeing the rewards of this approach and how it really is the best way to invent new and universally useful solutions.

For me, TradeLens is a chance to do something totally new from the start. The main way is by broadening our perspective to encompass a system for managing all aspects of transport andtrade. We’re rethinking the data model that systems historically assumed. And we’re using open standards to our huge advantage. I had the chance to see the benefits of open standards in my previous work doing power grid modelling for electricity networks. Being able to pull industry standards “off the shelf” saved us from reinventing things that were already out there.

With TradeLens I’m expecting it to bring big benefits like accelerating the evolution of the entire technology, encouraging others to adopt and develop the technology quicker and easier, and enabling everyone to take advantage of the collective hard work that’s out there in order to free their time and minds for other challenges.

It’s exciting to see solution-sharing and the prevailing spirit of collaboration taking hold in our industry. We’ve become very active in the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) in guiding the development of standards for the industry and world trade. The way I see it, for the first time ever, we have the opportunity to get shippers, carriers, customs officials and more on the same page—or rather a shared ledger—using the same terminology, processes and documentation. And even cooler is the fact that TradeLens is developing hand-in-hand with these standards.

Our involvement in openshipping.org is another way we’re riding the wave of collaboration. Industry players—in many cases competitors—are coming together to share ideas and brainstorm around common challenges. The developments that are coming out of those interactions are tremendously inspiring, and unfortunately too detailed for this post—so stay tuned for more on that.

As a lifelong tech geek, it’s awesome developing a blockchain solution at a time when this technology is just taking hold. And I’m doing it in an industry that is like home to me. I’m a native of Copenhagen, a port city defined by liner shipping and international trade. Indeed, I’ve spent many years working on the transformation of Maersk Line’s system.

I’m ecstatic to be part of this team that’s driving the digitization of the global supply chain through blockchain. I really believe we’re helping shape a future for the industry that is wide open. Expect to hear more about our progress in this blog in the coming weeks. And you can stay closer to the collaboration that’s going on by signing up to receive updates when they happen right here.

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