IBM, India’s JM Baxi Join Forces to Explore Blockchain Applications

Indian shipping conglomerate JM Baxi Group has announced a partnership with IBM to explore blockchain and other innovative technologies for the export-import trade and logistics market.

Indian shipping services provider JM Baxi Group is partneringwith IBM to explore new business areas, update internal procedures, and leverage blockchain solutions. The partnership is expected to support the country’s export-import (EXIM) trade and logistics market, helping Indian ports and supply chain companies address problems related to multiple intermediaries.

JM Baxi and IBM have signed a memorandum of understanding to work on several projects related to the EXIM trade and logistics space. The document stipulates that the enterprises have to set up a Technology and Innovation Council to use IBM’s tech expertise and JM Baxi’s industry knowledge to develop next-gen concepts aimed at improving the customer experience.

The short-term goal of the new body is to launch blockchain-oriented studies and projects based on the solution provided by IBM Watson. Joint projects on artificial intelligence (AI) and enterprise data architecture will also be considered.

“The memorandum of understanding envisages a joint go-to-market on feasible technology solutions,” a spokesperson for JM Baxi told Indian portal BusinessLine.

The joint venture aims to build a trading platform to streamline trade processes and save billions of dollars.

India’s trade and logistics service providers have to deal with multiple procedures related to several intermediaries, among them customs, container freight stations, shipping lines, inland container depots (ICDs), port terminals, and stamp duty payments. As a result, the companies are forced to handle tons of documentation. Currently, around 21 state departments are directly or indirectly involved in the EXIM chain. On average, it takes seven days to deal with export documentation and ten days to complete import papers.

JM Baxi will benefit from blockchain solutions as it manages a network of ships, port terminals, and ICDs, among others.

In mid-January, IBMpartnered with Danish container shipping giant Maersk to build a blockchain platform that would speed up processing and cut costs.