Blockchains are definitely the biggest technology trend shaking up 2018.
This technology could be easily applied to any industry you can imagine, and the world’s biggest corporations like Maersk, British Airways, UPS, Walmart, FedEx, Visa, MasterCard, Dell, and IBM are already using it in their supply chains.
It is estimated that today 6 out of 10 companies are searching for possible ways to apply blockchain technology to their businesses. There’s even an association of transportation companies that has formed around blockchain technology adoption: the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA).
Naturally, there is a question as to why blockchains are so desirable to companies operating the transportation of goods? Logistics industry experts from AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG provide their answers.
Currently, the logistics and transportation industry is facing multiple challenges, including cargo theft, opaque supply chains, unclear product origins, complex processes involving multiple freight agent intermediaries, and a lack of accountability for losses. Vyacheslav Turejko, AsstrA Chief Business Development Officer, says that cargo thefts typically go unreported and therefore the amount of losses remains unknown. Blockchain technology could provide an ideal solution, as companies could automate purchasing processes to make them faster and more secure.
“There are many of ways to apply blockchain technology in the freight forwarding industry. The most important way, however, is that blockchains can improve transactions and secure the supply chain by adding tags to each product. You will be able to store a wide range of information about your cargo, such as its origin, property certificates, and place of storage. Having this type of information easily accessible would decrease cargo theft volume in Europe,” says Vyacheslav Turejko.
Together with cargo tracking, blockchain technology supports supplier fleet tracking and facilitates interactions between carriers, manufacturers, suppliers, and clients. It can therefore reduce the total cost of cargo transportation.
“Smart contracts on a blockchain can automate processes and save many hours of documentation work for logistics companies,” adds Mr. Turejko.
Critics say that the technology will be an obvious target for hackers. However, cryptographically protected data can be stored on different computers which do not allow the disclosure of up-to-date information. For companies operating in the logistics industry, where multiple parties exchange information every day, higher security is the main motivation to invest in and adopt blockchain technology as soon as possible.