Blockchain is one of the most talked about emerging technology with numerous applications across many industries, but can it modernize the fragmented and inefficient logistics industry?
Blockchain technology is predicted to have a massive impact throughout many industries including the logistics industry. While best known for its role behind various crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, the technology is widely applicable to many problems in numerous industries.
Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex with many players involved requiring large numbers of contracts, payments, tracking, and communications.
Blockchain is one such technology predicted to help better connect many players within the industry, bringing efficiency to the many disjointed elements at any one specific supply chain.
Broadly speaking, blockchain technology is described as – a distributed highly secure platform, ledger, or database – where value, everything from money, stock, bonds, intellectual property and deeds, music, and even votes can be stored and exchanged without powerful intermediaries.
Blockchain in the logistics industry will likely be used as a distributed ledger which could provide better transparency throughout the lifetime of the shipment.
Blockchain data is decentralized, unable to be changed once created thus creating a more secure and transparent information pathway that would follow a shipment from origin to destination.
Due to this decentralization, it is unlikely a system could be disrupted due to a localized failure or attack. The implications could mean quicker processes, lower transactional cost and more secure and reliable data exchange within the industry.
However for this to happen, there needs to be a unified set of standards across the industry and that’s where the Blockchain and Transport Alliance (BITA) comes in. It is a forum for promotion, education, and encouragement to develop and adopt Blockchain technologies in the trucking and transportation and logistics industry.
BITA goal is for member to participate, discuss, create and adopt industry standard uses of blockchain applications and to provide clarity and direction for the development of Blockchain technology and the transportation industry in a manner that will create efficiency, transparency, and foster trust.
BITA standards are intended to create a common framework to help organizations develop and adopt to blockchain technology. Major players in the industry including DHL, JB Hunt, BNSF, UPS, FedEx, and many others are coming together to craft a set of standards that can see Blockchain be deployed within the industry.
Over the next several years, we will likely see industry adoption of Blockchain and its application to a number of processes within the logistics industry