Tomorrow's Tech, Here Today
Blockchain is one of the most important technologies developed since the Industrial Revolution, and likewise, its impact will stretch into the future in ways unforeseen today.
A bold statement, but one being embraced by a growing number of decision-makers in the logistics industry. The vision of harnessing the fundamental power of the blockchain to transform the supply chain as we know it is not limited to far-reaching, long-term endpoints, but in the shorter term here-and-now.
This vision includes blockchain-powered seamless border crossings and track-and-trace, which will not only tell you where your product is but the product’s environmental attributes like temperature or harsh handling conditions. Additionally, at any point in time, we will be able to predict the probability of on-time delivery and, in the event of delays, notify you the exact moment the delay’s probability exceeds a given threshold.
The process to move new technology out of the hypothetical and into real-world, practical use can be a daunting one. The benefits must be clear, the C-Suite needs to buy in and implementation has to be airtight.
My team has had the good fortune to have had those stars align, and we launched our first production blockchain through a partnership with Chain.io earlier this year. This project securely and immutably stores compliance documentation — a solution ready for production today, not some nebulous time in the future.
These new capabilities significantly boost the ability to meet regulatory demands, providing a higher level of available details as we manage customer accounts. The increased visibility internally will allow us to continue to support the new challenges in today's world of global trade.
More to Come
The documents of the future will be all digital and securely stored on an immutable blockchain. Payments for services or exchanges of services will be made through smart contracts only after all the exact conditions are verifiably met. It’s an exciting time of evolution in the industry.
In my team's experience, this project's value proposition has been immediately apparent to internal and external stakeholders and has opened the door to increased interest in the technology. As a result, future blockchain efforts are being approved; in the coming months, we expect to add blockchain-enabled bills of lading and blockchain-powered invoicing.
This impact of blockchain technology will eventually not only disrupt, but destroy intermediaries. Peer-to-peer interactions between entities and direct, frictionless interactions will change everything about the world in which we live and do business. Are you ready?