FedEx is Testing Blockchain Tech for Critical Cargo Shipments

FedEx is sure that blockchain technology will revolutionize the logistics industry, and they don’t want to be left behind.

The logistics giant is actively testing ways to use blockchain to track high-cost, mission-critical cargo. In a growing trend of companies researching blockchain tech for business uses, FedEx joins the joins others like Samsung in supply chain applications.

According to a Bloomberg interview with the CEO,

We’re quite confident that it has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics,” Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said at a blockchain conference in New York on Monday. “It’s the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.”

The main draw is the concept of the permanent, immutable ledger. When shipments stretch across the world in ever-globalizing economies, the ledger can provide important transparency with a single record that all parties agree on. This would ease the headaches with disputes that range from postage to payments and receipt of packages. Unique cases for blockchain ledgers are cropping up with increasing adoption.

The shipping industry is also testing a number of blockchain applications.

Blockchain technology testing is part of FedEx Corp’s efforts for improving customer service and staying one step ahead of the disruptive competition, according to Smith. The company has teamed up with the Blockchain in Transport Alliance.

The Alliance’s mission states

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.

Thousands of companies have applied for membership.

FedEx’s testing also includes ironing out standards in the industry with BiTA. BiTA believes that the blockchain is good for business in that it can reduce costs, in addition to speeding up and automating delivery processes. Its membership list currently includes shipping juggernauts, including BNSF Railway, Koch Logistics, and Penske.

With disruptive tech shaking up main-stay industries, Smith sees that innovation is the key to maintaining success. Without trying out and implementing cutting-edge tech, companies will “probably, at some point, extinction,” the CEO said.

It is estimated that blockchain applications will represent 10% of global GDP, so it makes sense for logistics companies to tap into the tech early. Alongside industry experts and BiTA, the blockchain could help propel the shipping industry into a new era.

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