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Top Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain

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Yuri Musienko
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Blockchain is a rapidly developing technology that even gets to Wine industry. It can solve the most important problems of logistics and make it more efficient, transparent and flexible. In the article, you will find ten examples of how Maersk, FedEx, UPS and other top logistics companies use blockchain to increase their competitiveness.

Maersk: shipping

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain Maersk

Product path on the TradeLens platform

In 2018, Maersk and IBM, after a year of testing, launched the TradeLens ecosystem to track vehicles, containers, and cargo, as well as supply chain management. The platform collects and combines data on freight traffic from industry partners into a single secure blockchain network and provides secure access to information for all interested parties.

In addition, the system allows you to automate almost the entire document flow and digital business processes related to shipping logistics, including such operations as receiving a bill of lading, financial transactions, customs fees and transfer of ownership / responsibility. To do this, TradeLens uses smart contracts and IoT technologies.

At the time of launch, the platform accounted for about 15% of the market, now it is 35%. Among the partners (users) of TradeLens, you can find the 15 largest sea carriers, including Seaboard Marine, KMTC, ZIM, Safmarine, Boluda, Sealand, Namsung and APL.

FedEx: dispute resolution

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain FedEx

FedEx serves a quarter of the logistics and courier market. Source of the image: Statista

In 2018, FedEx partnered with Hyperledger (a Linux Foundation project) and Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to improve logistics through the use of a distributed ledger. Based on Hyperledger technologies, the American giant launched a pilot project to find solutions that will help resolve disputes with customers.

As part of the pilot project, FedEx intends to understand what data needs to be collected, in what form it should be stored and what should be in the public domain in order to minimize disputes with customers. The blockchain in this project should provide a single "source of truth", which will be trusted by all parties and which can be used in court.

In addition, FedEx plans to use blockchain technology and smart contracts to track and store records for strategic planning and analysis. The company also takes the initiative to create a standardized ledger for manufacturers and transport companies, which the government should oversee.

IBM Food Trust: Product Transportation

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain IBM Food Trust

IBM Food Trust Management Model

In 2017, ten major global food manufacturers and distributors partnered with IBM to implement blockchain technology in their logistics processes. This group - Walmart, Dole, Nestle, Tyson, GSF, Unilever, McCormick, Kroger, Driscoll's and McLane - represents more than half a trillion dollars in total annual sales in global markets.

IBM used the Hyperledger Fabric distribution registry to launch the IBM Food Trust ecosystem, which aims to increase the transparency and traceability of food supply chains by creating end-to-end “stories” of each product. In other words, the network collects and integrates information on the production, transportation and storage of food.

The initiative has been successfully tested on food supplies on the Walmart network. As part of a pilot project, the supply chains of mangoes from Mexico and pork from China were transferred to the IBM Food Trust blockchain. After that, the supply of greens and several other risky goods were also transferred to the blockchain. Further Walmart plans to integrate blockchain into all food chains.

Now the IBM Food Trust is a neutral platform that any manufacturer, supplier, retailer or other market participant can join, who wants to increase consumer confidence in the brand and create a more reasonable, sustainable and transparent food supply chain.

UPS: B2B logistics marketplace

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain UPS

UPS and Inxeption's Zippy Platform is an Automated Marketplace for Cargo Delivery

In March 2019, the US postal operator United Parcel Service (UPS) and e-commerce company Inxeption jointly launched the Zippy logistics blockchain platform. This is a B2B solution that allows you to create web pages, download product information, plan orders and shipments, manage purchases, process transactions, track returns, conduct search marketing and process analytics for sales and marketing.

In addition to standard functions, the system can also help with the search for optimal delivery routes, which is carried out automatically. The sender needs to specify the conditions and cost of delivery, after which the system will select the appropriate carriers, the route of delivery and make financial calculations (all this will be done without human intervention). The choice of the “optimal” path occurs by searching for the shortest and cheapest route.

UPS hopes that their system will reduce the cost and time associated with delivering packages, and will also help reduce overall inefficiencies in the industry. Zippy is currently shipping parcels, as well as freight and international shipping to Mexico and Canada. In the future, it is planned to expand the service area.

Kuehne + Nagel: digital bills of lading

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain Kuehne + Nagel

Kuehne + Nagel solution reduces data entry requirements by 80%

One of the largest forwarders in the world, Kuehne + Nagel takes advantage of the blockchain to optimize the operation of its logistics portal Verified Gross Mass (VGM), which processes more than 800,000 transactions per month. The new technology is responsible for the safety and immutability of information passing through the portal, as well as for the automation of workflow.

Simply put, Kuehne + Nagel, like Maersk, have created a single cloud platform for managing supply chains and storing logistics data to simplify the work and interaction of their partners. The company hopes that this solution will reduce the cost, speed up and simplify all processes, as well as reduce the number of inconsistencies, errors and fraud.

In addition, Kuehne + Nagel conducted pilot testing of the blockchain in the processes associated with the issuance of a bill of lading. A bill of lading is an agreement between the sender and the transport company that defines the latter’s responsibility for the safety of the cargo during delivery and establishes the conditions for the transportation and delivery of cargo. In this case, the blockchain is used to store data on the bill of lading and track events related to it: cargo transfer, violation of delivery conditions, financial calculations, etc.

British Airways: flight data management

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain British Airways

British Airways is operated by the International Airlines Group (IAG). It is IAG that tests and invests in the development of the blockchain, including in British Airways services

In 2017, British Airways and SITA tested the FlightChain pilot project to synchronize flight data and identify conflicting information. For this, the airline, together with London Heathrow Airports (LHR), Geneva Airport (GVA) and Miami International Airport (MIA), combined their pilot data into smart contracts to create a single “source of truth”.

As a result, a “single correct copy of the data” was created on flights, tickets sold, delays, etc., which allowed airports to display accurate data on arrival and departure of ships, which is very important for passengers and transport companies. The results were promising and, like the technology itself, somewhat more complex. In particular, you need to understand who and how will manage the project with so many stakeholders, from airports to states.

In addition, the parent company British Airways has invested in two new blockchain projects:

  1. An application with which people can record and share their travel experiences. Including the quality of services of British Airways.
  2. VChain platform, where they created a system for digital identification of passengers, part of which can be used in combination with the IATA One Identity project to accelerate the work of airport services using biometrics and digital authentication.

Travelport: tourist platform

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain Travelport
Travelport - the first blockchain travel marketplace
In September 2018, one of the leaders in the travel industry, Travelport, with technical support from IBM, began testing a travel marketplace where all industry participants can offer their products and services, and users can check and buy them.

A feature of this platform is blockchain authentication, on the basis of which a local rating system is built. Travelport requires verification from all service providers and confirmation that each excursion, boat trip or other tourist service has been approved by an individual or legal entity in the local market.

Such an approach together with user reviews should prevent fraud in the market when attackers sell non-existent services or when these services do not meet the declared quality, for example, when the site indicates that this is a 3-star number, but in reality there is not even one star.

Vinturas: truck tracking

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain Vinturas

Vinturas will accompany the life cycle of a car - from the manufacturer to the final buyer

In September 2019, a consortium of leading European automotive logistics service providers - AutoLink, Koopman Logistics Group, Axess Logistics and NVD - intends to launch the Vinturas open neutral blockchain platform to manage the supply chain of new and used cars. Its goal is transparency and fraud prevention.

At present, the infrastructure of the automotive industry is discrete and does not have common standards (systems) for storing and transmitting information, which makes it almost impossible to trace the production chain from the manufacturer to the final dealer. As a result, the market is full of cars whose technical and legal history does not correspond to reality (mileage, history of owners and maintenance, parts used during repair, etc.).

The Vinturas team intends to fix these problems by creating a platform that will track the “history” of each car. Thanks to this, buyers will always know what product they are buying. In addition, Vinturas provides supply chain management tools that will improve planning, optimize inventory and save costs.

DHL: Drug Tracking

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain DHL

DHL Pharmaceutical Tracking Scheme

DHL and the Accenture consulting company have developed a prototype open platform that will collect information on production (prescription, ingredients, technologies, equipment, etc.), transportation and storage of medicines. Manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, pharmacies, clinics and doctors will have access to the data, which, along with the blockchain, will ensure the legitimacy of this information.

DHL and Accenture sure that their platform:

  1. Increases the transparency and traceability of drug supply chains, which will help to combat counterfeit and spoilage during storage and transportation.
  2. Speeds up all business processes. During testing, the prototype blockchain DHL and Accenture processed 7 billion unique serial numbers at a speed of 1,500 transactions per second.
  3. Saves the lives and money of users.
In addition to tracking medicines, the DHL blockchain platform will also use smart contracts to optimize and automate workflow, financial calculations and statistics.

DLA: US Army Logistics

Logistic Companies That Use Blockchain DLA
3rd Class Media Specialist Daniel S. Coxwest
The United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which manages the supply chain for the entire U.S. Army, as well as several federal agencies and international allies, held a two-day event in December 2018 on how to use blockchain to improve collaborative DLA efforts.

Using Hurricane Maria as a case study, the DLA and CPI (Continuous Process Improvement) identified various areas where the blockchain could improve relief efforts in Puerto Rico. This example, despite the success of assisting the public, was chosen because the CPI found that during the operation 20,000 trays with bottles of water were wasted.

The new technology could help with data synchronization, optimizing supply chains and tracking idle resources. This initiative to use blockchain technology for emergency response by the US military was proposed by the US Department of Defense in a recent press release.

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