The freight and shipping industry is one where evolution isn’t just helpful – it’s vital.
Companies in this sector juggle a patchwork of regulations and a plethora of costs, mismanagement of which can result in even the biggest organizations taking a fall.
Commercial trucks have upgraded their equipment, logistics professionals have refined their systems, and countless changes big-to-small have been ushered in to help the freight field maintain the presence it needs to meet customer demand.
But one big change in the industry stems from companies slowly adopting a budding tech solution that could refine the way they do business with both clients and employees. The blockchain could revolutionize everything from brokerage needs to rig maintenance. In order to ensure their industry gets everything out of this technology, great minds have come together to further this initiative.
The Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) serves as a source of education, training, and distribution for blockchain-based solutions within the field. Many big names have joined up with them, but the latest may be the biggest gain yet.
The United Parcel Service announced Tuesday that it has joined the alliance, citing the clear advantages this technology presents for the future of their business. UPS officials have continued to pursue new technologies and innovative solutions for maintaining their standing in the shipping industry, and blockchain applications seem to be the future.
Despite claims that self-driving kits stand to make the greatest change to the freight field in the long-term, the blockchain offers more possibilities. UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, Linda Weakland, said: “The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholder.”
The blockchain functions as a distributed and open ledger, recording agreements based on pre-assigned variables and then streamlining the resolution of these contracts accordingly. The system is built to promote identity and reputation management, ensuring accountability on both sides.
By creating a chain of information blocks, the system leaves a consistent record which can in turn let participants know if there is a problem resolving one contract or fulfilling any obligation within the application.
Examples of uses for blockchain solutions in the industry are plentiful. One example could be payments for shippers. With the smart-contract technology offered through the blockchain, drivers could receive instant payment upon completing deliveries. Other uses include automating regular maintenance for vehicles, safeguarding work agreements for independent contractors, and even matching shippers and receivers effectively.
UPS joins the likes of C.H. Robinson Worldwide and XPO Logistics among major carriers who have joined up with the alliance. Those involved can expect the educational resources necessary to help them grasp the latest changes and breakthroughs with these solutions, positioning them to lead their companies and the industry as a whole forward with confidence.
Trucking and freight companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs, improve their supply change, and build dependable professional relationships. With the blockchain, these goals may become much easier to achieve.