Blockchain and logistics have been a major talking point for supply chain leaders since the creation of Bitcoin. The technology holds great promise for the supply chain and logistics industry by creating an incorruptible and easily distributed resource for shippers and carriers to streamline productivity and ensure all operations continue unimpeded. However, the necessity of the use of blockchain in logistics means many companies have not fully deployed automation or supply chain visibility solutions. In reality, companies across the globe are working to develop, refine and implement blockchain, which will help push the technology to become as ubiquitous in supply chain management as the use of EDI and API by supply chains.
What’s Holding Shippers Back From Using Blockchain In Logistics?
As explained by Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, shippers are still viewing blockchain technology with caution. Whenever there is new technology, there is often hesitation to embrace the unknown. That being said, blockchain does indeed hold great value and the most significant benefits can be seen in industry compliance and traceability of products and services. Maintaining the validity and accuracy of pharmaceuticals and food opens the potential for better health and wellness.
Blockchain Is Evolving At A Fast Pace
Blockchain is evolving at a faster pace than any other technology currently affecting supply chain management. Cloud-based technologies and resources are allowing companies to develop and test new systems and platforms at record speed. Unfortunately, the technology is not yet widely available for use by small and middle-sized businesses (SMB), which make up a significant portion of global supply chains. Fortunately, ShipChain is working to tackle this issue by developing a dedicated, cloud-based blockchain solution for businesses of all sizes. The “Track and Trace” platform will bring a new level of end to end transparency and visibility which means shippers will be able to view specific details of their freight, identify potential bottlenecks and improve operations on a continuous basis. Thus, efficiency, accuracy, validity, and timeliness of shipments increase while the costs of operating simultaneously decrease.
How to Know When Blockchain Has Become Commonplace
Berman explains that the easiest way to denote when blockchain has genuinely become commonplace will be when the term “blockchain” has been replaced with “traceability.”
ShipChain’s platform is already on this path; the platform’s name lacks the word “blockchain.” Instead, by calling it “Track and Trace,” ShipChain is working to move the term “blockchain” away from being a tech-elusive name to a more common term. Of course, there are still other factors that must be addressed for blockchain to be genuinely commonplace, including:
- An explosion of talent using blockchain technologies. This includes talent that entered the field with advanced knowledge of blockchain and that was not initially involved in the creation of blockchain networks for SCM use.
- A connected network must become a central point for all companies participating in the blockchain and all parties must share the resources used by the system.
- Participation must be mandatory.
- Delays with data validation must be eliminated to reduce latency when adding information to the supply chain blockchain.
Choose a Blockchain Expert In Logistics To Reduce Stress
The use of blockchain in logistics might seem far out of reach, but developments in companies around the globe are proving that the applications of blockchain in logistics, manufacturing and entire supply chains hold merit. Unfortunately, the excitement over blockchain can leave shipping managers and supply chain entities feeling helpless and unsure where to turn, but ShipChain has a solution.
ShipChain is working to develop an innovative, robust platform, termed “track and trace” to bring balance to the use of blockchain in logistics and supply chain management. Until we launch our one-of-a-kind platform in Q1 2019, we cordially invite you to sign up for “updates” online. We are on a mission to make blockchain in logistics and supply chain management commonplace for businesses of all sizes. Ultimately, knowledge is power, and we hope you will take advantage of our experience.