Blockchain has been in the news a lot over the last couple of years, often mentioned in stories about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But blockchain is far bigger than cryptocurrencies and has a huge potential to transform the transport industry. Let’s take a closer look.
What is blockchain and how does it work?
Blockchain technology is based on a branch of mathematics called cryptography. The technology uses a chain of protected records to share the details of transactions to all participants in the blockchain and distribute records across a network of computers—thereby eliminating the need to maintain records centrally.
If a record in one block is changed, the records in each block in the chain are changed. This means no-one can alter the data within the blockchain without the permission of everyone else, making this a highly secure technology.
Blockchain and logistics
So, what can blockchain do for the trucking industry? Quite a lot actually. Here are a few of the most important ways in which the technology can re-shape the industry and your business:
The benefits I talked about are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more applications for blockchain will emerge as the technology interacts with other innovations. Companies like Walmart are already using blockchain technologies powered by IBM to digitize processes and improve food safety in their supply chain.
Nevertheless, there are certainly a number of challenges to the wider adoption of blockchain in logistics. Standardization, lack of knowledge, legislation and trust in a new technology are just a few of the obvious hurdles.
But the growing demand from society and consumers about how, from where and at what environmental and social cost goods are transported means that blockchain will not just be the next buzzword but a game changer for the logistics industry.
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