It seems like everyone is jumping on the blockchain these days, and global shipping company FedEx was certain it wouldn’t be left in the dust. The company is in the process of exploring how to use the blockchain to track its most precious cargo, joining companies like Samsung and Walmart in using the technology for its supply chain operations.
In an interview with Bloomberg at the Coinbase Consensus 2018 conference, FedEx CEO Fred Smith said, “We’re quite confident that it has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics. It’s the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.” Smith, like many, is extremely confident that blockchain will revolutionize logistics around the globe.
The blockchain is the perfect solution for supply chains, as it provides a permanent and immutable ledger. With shipments that reach from one point of the earth to another, it’s important to provide a high level of transparency within a single record agreed upon by all parties involved. The blockchain will help to reduce problems that can arise due to issues with anything from the price of shipping to lost packages.
FedEx says that incorporating blockchain technology into its operations will also help to improve customer service and allow it to stay a step ahead of the competition. The new offering will be backed by the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), whose mission reads in part, “BiTA was formed by experienced tech and transportation executives to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry. Our goal is to bring together leading companies in the freight technology industries that have a vested interest in the development of blockchain technology.”
The partnership with BiTA will also benefit the entire industry. The testing could help to produce industry-wide standards and the blockchain will, as it has with a number of industries already, significantly reduce costs while making processes more efficient and quicker. The BiTA includes several well-known international shipping companies, such as Koch Logistics, Penske and BNSF Railway.
Smith also pointed out that staying on top of innovation will make the difference between a successful company of tomorrow and one which has fallen off the radar. He went so far as to say that those who don’t embrace the technology will, at some point, face extinction.