September 20, 2005 08:30 ET

IBM and Maersk Logistics Provide Real-Time Cargo Monitoring for Global Supply Chain Optimization

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 20, 2005 -- IBM and Maersk Logistics, of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, today announced a new initiative to bring real-time, enhanced visibility to global supply chain operations by improving the quality of container tracking and enabling increased security of transported goods. The solution includes highly intelligent wireless tracking devices and an advanced technology network for use by manufacturers, retailers, logistics providers, carriers, and governments to share real-time cargo information.

During joint development IBM and Maersk Logistics brought together research, business consulting and engineering teams, along with technology experts and internal specialists in the field of customs, ports and border management, supply chain management and transportation. The solution incorporates IBM's industry-leading hardware and software technologies alongside Maersk Logistics global supply chain expertise. The organizations have integrated two key emerging technologies for the first time:

--  Intelligent real-time tracking devices, called TREC (Tamper-Resistant
    Embedded Controllers), which are fitted to cargo containers and designed to
    withstand the environment they operate in.  Unlike typical passive tags
    that collect data only, the wireless TREC devices incorporate significant
    processing power, enabling them to instantly receive and send data.  The
    devices automatically collect information on each container, including
    physical location, based on GPS, parameters such as temperature and
    humidity and sensory readings to detect intrusion.
--  A fully integrated network that combines data from the TREC devices
    with a non-proprietary sensor network and business integration system.
    This network eliminates manual processes, and enables accredited supply
    chain participants access to relevant data.  The information gathered can
    be connected to decentralized databases where each participant owns their
    own content, and a service-oriented infrastructure allows users to
    instantly share information.
This leading-edge solution will provide global supply chain stakeholders with on-demand access to real-time transport-related data. The solution supports the implementation of the new World Customs Organization's (WCO) Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.

"IBM's objective is to enable globally integrated business by capitalizing on the information generated during the tracking process and at the same time improve the security of cargo," said Mogens Roedbro, Partner and Vice President, IBM Business Consulting Services. "This initiative, which IBM refers to as Intelligent Trade Lane, is part of our broader Global Movement Management effort designed to address the critical business functions involved in efficiently and securely moving people, goods and conveyances within and between countries."

"Security and supply chain optimisation are key focus areas for our clients today," said Henrik Ramskov, Managing Director, Maersk Logistics. "The capabilities of the TREC device and network eliminate the time lag of the physical container status to provide real-time visibility. This provides new opportunities for truly adaptive planning while also maintaining data quality. This enables effective decision making, supporting Supply Chain agility. Combined with Spective we will further enhance our clients' customer service levels while reducing the costs of achieving these."

"Some of today's shipping logistics involves enormous levels of complexity, dated processes including lengthy paper trails, and limited levels of security," said James Rice, Director, Integrated Supply Chain Management Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The ability to create an environment where all supply chain participants have real-time visibility while also leveraging industry standards will eliminate some of this complexity. The IBM and Maersk initiative offers a promising approach for a more truly resilient and secure transborder supply chain."

To ensure the solution is ready for commercial application next year, IBM and Maersk Logistics are currently involving key supply chain stakeholders in a formal pilot. Phase one field testing will begin in early November 2005, followed by a large commercial pilot in March 2006.

About IBM

IBM's Intelligent Trade Lane improves the quality of maritime shipping services and increases the security of transported goods. This is the first offering to result from IBM's Global Movement Management initiative that is designed to address the critical business functions involved in efficiently and securely moving people, goods and conveyances within and between countries. Through the use of integrated business processes and innovative technologies, IBM is engaging a wide range of businesses and government organizations around the world to develop solutions that improve the flow of information, commerce and travel.

Intelligent Trade Lane is an example of IBM enabling businesses to become on demand, and IBM's global effort to capitalize on the $500 billion business performance transformation market opportunity -- where companies look to external vendors, such as IBM, to transform business processes and improve business performance.

IBM is a leader in helping businesses and organizations innovate and the world's largest information technology and consulting services company. IBM and IBM business Partners offer a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of on demand business. For more information about IBM, visit

About Maersk Logistics

Maersk Logistics is a recognized leader in the international logistics market, providing customized solutions for integrated supply chain management, warehousing and distribution, customs house brokerage, airfreight, and NVOCC services through our subsidiary DSL Star Express.

Maersk Logistics continuously develops a range of state-of-the art information solutions customized to each customer's needs. The solutions allow the customer to track and trace merchandise and analyze in detail how to optimize every individual part of the supply chain.

Spective is Maersk Logistics supply chain visibility, event management and business intelligence solution. Spective provides a single, online access point to end-to-end supply chain information from the manufacturing process through to the distribution order, allowing clients to run the most connected, efficient and responsive supply chains. Spective combines world-class technology with Maersk Logistics' global supply chain experience and operational capability to deliver business solutions that raise the level of confidence and control in clients' supply chains.

The company is part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, which has more than 100,000 employees in more than 125 countries around the world. Besides shipping and logistics, the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and gas, shipbuilding, industry, supermarkets, and IT services. For further information, please refer to the Maersk Logistics web site at

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:

    Henrik Ramskov
    Managing Director, Maersk Logistics
    Phone: +45 39 63 55 77

    Lia Papa
    IBM Media Relations, U.S.
    Phone: 646.598.5409

    Marie-Louise Arnfast
    IBM Media Relations, Denmark
    Phone: 45-45244646