FedEx Corporation, a leader in logistics and supply sector, is investing in blockchain to further explore what benefits this promising technology could bring to the logistics and supply chain sector.
In Consensus 2018, a blockchain summit presented by CoinDesk, FedEx said it is working on a technology that could let them track shipments even beyond the reach of their company.
Frederick Smith, FedEx CEO, said:
“We’re quite confident that [blockchain] has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics. In the area where FedEx makes its living, this could be a big deal. It’s the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.”
Blockchain technology can give businesses the sense of security, with the set of data written on the blocks being displayed publicly and authenticated in real time. Writing for the Bloomberg, Thomas Black explained:
“Blockchain uses computer code to record every step of a transaction and delivery in a permanent digital ledger, providing transparency. The ledger can’t be changed unless all involved agree, reducing common disputes over issues like time stamps, payments and damages.”
FedEx is a member of the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BTI), a consortium of firms that aims to develop industry standards in anticipation of the eventual adoption of blockchain technology.
Once the whole logistics industry assimilates blockchain into their system, as what FedEx aims for, different companies can rely on one verified public ledger. With only one source of information, companies can avoid storing conflicting data with other companies.
Rob Carter, FedEx CIO, added:
“This is such a game changer for us because it extends those boundaries outside of our four walls. Many things moving through supply chains get touched by more than one carrier. So the idea that you can create a blockchain for goods moving within the context of transportation is really powerful.”
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Blockchain’s Rising Stock
Known as the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain has permeated a huge part of the business sector with FedEx and other famous companies trying out the risks and benefits of adopting said technology.
Walmart Inc., a huge supermarket chain, conducted a trial using blockchain technology to keep track of its perishable goods. The chronological ledger allowed Walmart to trace suppliers of defective goods and spoiled food in an effort to avoid spending more on waste.
British Airways once tested using blockchain to synchronize the flight information given to airport monitors, gates, and mobile applications. This demonstration of blockchain technology allowed the passengers and airport personnel to base their actions on only one clock.
According to the International Data Corp., corporate spending on blockchain technology is projected to go as high as US$2.1 billion at the end of 2018 from a relatively paltry sum of US$945 million in 2017.
These trials, and other more similar ventures by different companies, suggest that companies see blockchain as a way to save them significant amount of funds. Carter warns that companies would miss out on these benefits and be left out if they will turn a blind eye on blockchain technology.
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