Blockchain, the technology that makes cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin possible, could also make for much more efficient shipping.
That’s why UPS joined the blockchain in trucking alliance. CNBC reports:
“The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders,” Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, said in a statement.
UPS’ foray into blockchain — a technology that the Chicago Fed defines as “a network of users, each of which stores its own copy of the data” — is not a surprise to investment group Stifel, however.
“In our view, blockchain will combine with the truckload pricing futures market, with data analytics-assisted [and] artificial intelligence-assisted real time matching of loads and empties,” Stifel analyst John Larkin wrote in a note on Oct. 29.
With blockchain technology, each transaction is recorded and publicly available to others with access to the blockchain. That can increase the speed and transparency involved in doing something like shipping goods.
As CNBC points out:
“The theory is that the blockchain-enabled supply chain participants will be able to handle transactions more quickly, more securely, with fewer errors and less labor cost involved in the overall process,” Larkin said.
Consumers are among those who could benefit from the widespread adoption of blockchain technology throughout the logistics industry, Stifel said. Products would arrive more cheaply, quickly and precisely, Larkin writes, thanks to blockchain. Even software providers, data providers, and trailer-leasing companies are among those who could see greater value from day-to-day operations if the technology is implemented as theorized.
But “there are several groups positioned to be totally or partially” disrupted by blockchain’s introduction into the trucking business, Larkin says.
“The potential losers [are those] that choose not to comply with the BiTA industry standard protocols or that choose not to be transparent,” Larkin said.
Hardy Brakes has been servicing heavy duty trucks since 1949.