FedEx, UPS and DHL place bets on blockchain

Blockchain is much more than a buzzword. It’s a shared immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions that are revolutionizing how businesses across multiple industries function. Blockchain gives customers and vendors the ability to connect directly, eliminating the need for a third party to complete the transaction. Pioneered by bitcoin, the virtual currency, blockchain has potential uses that extend far beyond digital currencies and companies are dedicating resources to blockchain integration.

Blockchain and parcel delivery

From IBM to Visa, it seems like every company is boarding the blockchain train. When it comes to the parcel industry, UPS and FedEx have both joined Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), a group using blockchain tech in the trucking industry to secure data transfers and speed up transactions. DHL has partnered with Accenture, a leading global technology consultant, to address specific supply chain problems.

FedEx has big blockchain plans

With the high-profile cyber attacks, FedEx has good reasons to leverage technologies that can create transparency and bring data security to its logistics processes. Blockchain is a decentralized, encrypted ledger that logs all of the critical transport data. No one will have the power to change or delete crucial information. FedEx is currently piloting different uses for blockchain technology to improve information sharing among suppliers, FedEx, and retailers.

UPS places bets on blockchain

These giant delivery companies have common problems. The infrastructure is crumbling. Their systems are nothing to brag about. When a major carrier has to recruit accountants to help deliver last-minute shipments, you know something has gone awry in the planning. UPS states, “Blockchain technology would help by improving transaction accuracy and by replacing existing paper-heavy and manual processes.” The future of logistics will rely heavily on blockchain to eliminate shuffling through millions of papers a day, increase security and offer much-needed transparency.

DHL announces blockchain integration

In March, DHL announced its partnership with Accenture to create a blockchain prototype that would track pharmaceuticals to provide heightened supply chain visibility. Implementing blockchain technology would prevent pharmaceuticals from being tampered with or altered. According to Interpol, an estimated 30 percent of pharmaceutical products sold in emerging markets are counterfeit. DHL hopes to address this problem and correct it through the power of blockchain technology.

Is it a good move to make?

The shipping industry is known for its lack of transparency. Anything that offers greater insight and accountability into each stage of the logistics process will improve the industry. Transparency in logistics workflows means everyone has to account for their mistakes and make efforts to eliminate errors.  Blockchain will streamline business processes while keeping carriers honest.

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