Blockchain was originally developed for use with Bitcoin digital currency. Now it’s creating lots of buzz in the transportation and logistics industry as the next big thing. What is blockchain and what are its potential impacts on the industry?
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a technology that creates digital ledgers. It makes it possible to prove and transfer ownership from one party to another without using an intermediary such a bank. It creates a continuously growing list of records or transactions, called blocks. The outcome is the creation of a permanent, digital ledger of transactions that may be shared with all parties in the process or transaction. These records are extremely secure from tampering, hacking, or modification.
Potential benefits and uses
Presently there are many projected benefits and applications of blockchain in the supply chain. Some of these include:
Blockchain may have its potential benefits in the supply chain, but it also has its challenges. Some key obstacles to the adoption of blockchain are:
Unfortunately, individual organizations cannot solve these challenges themselves. It will take organizations working together to make this happen.
Fortunately there’s help
To help eliminate these obstacles and make it easier for organizations to work together, there are entities now in place. They are GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology (ECT) program and the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTa).
The GSA’s ECT program is a blockchain analysis effort that was first announced in September. It is opened to contributions from industry members. This open-sourced tool, called Atlas, includes programs, use cases, and resources created by the private sector and researchers working within government agencies. The purpose of this program is to serve as a resource to clarify the potential uses of blockchain technology as well as test, evaluate, and create them. It is hoped that ECT will simplify the application of this new technology for those wanting to use it, by sharing the knowledge of those already using it.
BiTa was created as a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education in the freight industry by experienced technology and transportation executives. It brings together industry-wide experts who are interested in developing blockchain technology. The goal of BiTa is to reduce costs and make shipping more efficient. It provides educational resources, open forums, conferences, and updates about blockchain as it relates to freight.
Blockchain technology has a lot to offer the freight transportation industry. With so many challenges around its implementation, will enough organizations jump on the bandwagon by starting their journey to digitization? That’s got to happen if we’re all going to reap the benefits! If you’re looking for ways to reduce freight costs while increasing efficiencies now, contact American Group by phone at 866-553-6608 or by email at Info@ShipAG.com. We’re Shipping.Simplified®.
Photo credit: Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_mikkolem'>mikkolem / 123RF Stock Photo</a>