Blockchain hype has reached epic, fever-pitch proportions in our world. Bitcoin - a well-known cryptocurrency - that runs on blockchain technology is always in the news whether good or bad. Blockchain has graced the cover of major periodicals in recent times, and it’s the common buzz term across many industries as the transformative technology that will disrupt the current world order.
At its core, blockchain is a new solution for an old problem in computer science. Blockchain is based on a decentralized, distributed ledger. Blocks of data are added to this global ledger in an ultra-secure and irrevocable manner by the community of computers known as nodes to obtain consensus and provide provenance. The result is a trustless network without the need for a central authority.
Blockchain offers new and exciting opportunities for many sectors of business such as the financial industry, the real estate market, and of course - global logistics. Many proponents of blockchain solutions for supply chain claim that the advent of blockchain functionality will usher in a new era of transparency, visibility, and fewer documents to go around to boot.
I participated in a first of its kind industry blockchain pilot in 2017. I see the long-term value and upside in the blockchain universe for BDP and our customers, but I am also the first to acknowledge that one does not need blockchain to eliminate paper documents or have full visibility of international shipments. Since BDP developed BDP Smart® over 10 years ago and through our continuous upgrades over the past decade, BDP Smart already offers shippers and partners in the supply chain end-to-end visibility. Most major trade lanes out there today do not require printed, original documents to be couriered overseas. Customers can easily pull their e-docs from the BDP Smart platform.
In 2018, BDP continues to collaborate with start-ups and well-established firms who have a shared interest in blockchain proof-of-concept projects for the global logistics industry. As BDP Smart® continues its evolution, it is well positioned for its next-generation version to serve as a key decentralized application (Dapp) on the global logistics blockchain. It will continue to be the front end and the customer’s point of access to this new world order. We envision a world whereby shippers will use BDP Smart® to digitally sign their blockchain bills of lading over to designated consignees. Carriers will be offered transparency to key data elements through public and private keys to improve on-time performance and ultimately lower their cost to serve as well.
“The new dawn of blockchain functionality in the supply chain correlates nicely with the BDP 2020 Strategic Plan - specifically the cornerstone of Disrupt through Innovation,” says Mike Andaloro, President and COO. “BDP, through its BDP Smart® platform, has always been on the forefront of technologies in the global logistics industry to enhance the customer experience while lowering their overall supply chain costs.
As blockchain technology seeks to establish itself as the new standard, BDP, and most importantly, its customers, are poised to reap the future benefits in our quest to deliver the best-in-class solutions for the global logistics industry.”