Blockchain: The next logistics frontier?

view through eyeglasses at pier in ocean
Image Credit: Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

Blockchain and BDP

BDP is actively working alongside start-ups and well-established organizations on new projects that show the promise of adding value to BDP and our customers.

As of April 2018, BDP has partnered with Chain.io to develop a compliance blockchain solution for customers by using Vault, a secure, blockchain-backed digital locker for critical supply-chain compliance records. The simplicity of integrating Vault with BDP’s existing platforms provides customers with the option of having an additional level of compliance with no extra effort on their part.

Additionally, BDP is currently partnering with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a member of the Emerging Technologies Working Group. Later in 2018, CBP will test the use of blockchain technology to record and track certifications required for import clearance. CBP identified key members of the trade community to refine processes prior to implementation, one of which was BDP Chief Compliance Officer Michael Ford. This provides BDP with the opportunity to provide valuable feedback and facilitate discussions on both the current and future state of operations and how blockchain would alter both.

Blockchain and Logistics
From finance to real estate to global logistics, blockchain offers exciting possibilities. 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 paperless data transfer.

For instance, by utilizing smart contracts, companies can automate the purchasing process while cutting costs and saving time. Companies will also simultaneously be able to improve the transaction flow and add new levels of security.

Shipping containers at port

Know your blockchain terms

  • Distributed ledger - A synchronized database that is shared between networks, whether geographically, company-wide or site-wide.
  • Immutable - Simply stated, once something is as such, it cannot be modified or altered. As it relates to blockchain, immutability pertains to the transactions of the record-keeping. Once the data files have been logged, they can never be removed or amended.
  • Hash - A digital fingerprint of a blockchain transaction, unique to that particular block of information.
  • Cryptography - A method for exchanging secure communication between parties that requires stringent password protected data validation.
  • Peer-to-peer - In peer-to-peer networks, the sharing and exchange of information do not filter through a third-party approval process. Rather, the transactions are swapped directly between users in the network.
  • Smart Contract - A digital agreement stored on the blockchain that is unalterable once signed. It defines certain logic operations that have to be fulfilled in order to perform tasks such as deposit money or data.
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Blockchain and BDP Smart Suite®

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.

“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 best-in-class solutions for the global logistics industry,” said BDP President & COO Mike Andaloro.

BDP’s team of experts continues to monitor the latest developments of blockchain. If you want to learn more, we’d love to hear from you.