Who knew? Avocados are one of the most complex products to ship internationally. They do not ripen on the tree, but once harvested they need to be handled with great care. Handlers delay the softening process by pre-cooling the fruit immediately after picking. Then during transportation, they need to be stored at optimal temperatures and shipped expeditiously so the cargo is at the desired stage of ripeness upon reaching destination. Who cares, though? Last year, the industry was buzzing about the first practical application of blockchain technology and avocados were the test product. Maersk, the global shipping giant, is expected to announce it is using IBM’s version of the blockchain to track the avocados, flowers, and machine parts it carries on its enormous cargo ships. The highly-sensitive, speed-critical product — the avocado — was at the center of the Maersk/IBM blockchain initiative, and an example of how this technology can be used to share traceability data to benefit global supply chains.