From the creation of the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) to companies of all sizes developing blockchain-based supply chain management platforms, it is clear that blockchain is becoming a force to be reckoned with in freight and logistics. As blockchain gains prominence in the logistics industry, supply chain leaders need to understand who is using it, what it means for the future of the industry, and how it can transform their day to day operations.
Blockchain in Logistics Has a Proven Value
According to Forbes, up to 65% of transportation executives view blockchain and other relatively new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning as driving forces behind a culture of change. People often fear what they do not understand, and that can certainly be the case when it comes to blockchain.
Although blockchain initially gained popularity through its use for cryptocurrency (i.e. Bitcoin), it has the potential to create huge value in other industries as well.
When it comes to freight and logistics, it is ideal for tracking assets making it extremely helpful in transportation management. When it comes down to it, carriers, shippers, freight forwarders, freight brokers, distributors, and resellers – yes, pretty much every single person in the supply chain – are all working toward the same goal: they want accurate, relevant information. When problems arise, which they always do, gathering information and managing paperwork is crucial no matter what the problem. Everyone in the supply chain needs a technology that can provide true visibility, thereby building trust in the system and reducing delays. Blockchain in logistics and supply chain has the potential to do exactly that, while simultaneously reducing freight spend.
Companies Are Turning to Blockchain Now More Than Ever
Blockchain in supply chain management tracks transactions and retains them in a decentralized chain. Authorized parties can access, download and add to the chain, but they cannot change it. What this means, is that blockchain can be leveraged to capture and review shipment location, condition, costs, and security. It increases quality control without added interventions, and if a problem is identified, the correct party can be held accountable. If this sounds pretty incredible, that’s because it is.
Companies like Maersk, Oracle, IBM, Apple, Walmart, and Amazon, are all exploring the possibilities of blockchain in the supply chain. They understand the value that it can provide and are eager to get on board. The issue is that they are working on developing private in-house platforms which limit traceability and use to the company using the platform. There is no way to bridge the divide between the in-house company and its supply chain partners. This leads to the recurrence of visibility problems.
The best way to get around this is by leveraging open-source blockchain platforms developed to get more supply chain partners involved like our Track and Trace platform. Instead of relying on a company-specific blockchain, Track and Trace will be able to leverage existing systems and connection points to build the blockchain and enhance cost-savings.
Get Ahead by Implementing a Blockchain-Based Strategy
Blockchain-based technologies are only part of the conversation. Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and Big Data are all converging to create more efficient and practical solutions to everyday problems in the supply chain. Connect with us online to start learning more about the real applications of blockchain within your organization.