The term “blockchain” has been all over the news lately. If you have been on the internet in the last month you have probably bumped into it. It’s also the foundational tech of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – hence the enthusiasm. Because there is so much coverage out there on the fundamental functions of blockchain, this video will instead help you understand how blockchain may work within the logistics industry and how Expeditors is strategizing. As with any new technology, there are high expectations but there are also many unanswered questions. – Basic impacts for supply chain and logistics – Any business model today involves a number of participants who need to exchange data and documents. Often, in order to increase efficiency, these participants have attempted to exchange data and transact among themselves using a centralized database, or a centralized ledger.
This is a great model but is has a few drawbacks, namely putting a lot of power in the hands of whoever owns that central ledger. While many industries have been moving in the direction of a central ledger,
Blockchain would shift that momentum. With blockchain, it’s designed to eliminate centralized transaction ledgers and use a distributed model instead. This means everyone has access to all of the data and it’s extremely resistant to tampering. This could solve problems of trust and how we share data.
When blockchain is applied to a simplified supply chain, the potential improvements are obvious. In theory, every participant of the supply chain can access one linked, encrypted and validated information set, providing everyone involved with elevated efficiencies and guaranteed data integrity. Sounds great, if there is only one Blockchain and every customer, service provider and government agency is using it, but there are currently thousands of blockchain experiments going on.
– What does this mean for Expeditors – Risks and benefits are at the heart of any new technology, blockchain is no exception. As it continues to emerge Expeditors will continue to research, educate leadership and employees, and engage in strategic pilots. Keeping us strategically positioned to take full advantage of blockchain as the technology matures.