The global shipping industry has not seen much change since the container was invented in the 50s. Trading across borders is filled with bureaucracy. However, IBM and Maersk have partnered to look at building an open platform for shipping. The underlying technology will be block chain (developed by IBM). The success of the project will be on how effectively adoption can be driven with the shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and custom authorities.
There are 10 of millions of containers being shipped globally and this technology should enable data sharing on the tracking of these containers across networks.
Another key driver will be standardisation across the industry.
IBM has a nice blog article here the describes the planned implementation in some detail
Reference : http://bitcoinist.com/ibm-partners-shipping-giant-maersk-launch-blockchain-solution-global-logistics/