Follow us on Twitter!
Blog Header Logo
DG&A's Transportation Consulting Blog
Posted by on in Best Practices in Freight Management
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 90
  • Print

Blockchain in Freight Transportation


Investopedia defines Blockchain as a distributed database that holds records of digital data or events in a way that makes them tamper-resistant. While many users may access, inspect, or add to the data, they can’t change or delete them. With Blockchain, transactions agreed by consensus are added to a block, a unique cryptographic code is calculated of the block, and that code is added to the following block creating a unique chain of blocks containing all the transactions.

The so-called distributed ledger is a technological system that is an asset database that can be shared across a network on multiple sites, geographies, or institutions. The original information stays put, leaving a permanent and public information trail, or chain, of transactions. The decentralized and distributed digital ledger contains transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network. In short, Blockchain is a record-keeping mechanism that makes it easier and safer for businesses to work together over the internet.

The most popular application of Blockchain technology is Bitcoin, the currency system. The good news is that the Blockchain protocol can be used for non-currency purposes as well.

Though it was initially intended for financial transactions, businesses of all kinds are getting creative with the so-called Blockchain ledger, as it can be used to record, track, and verify trades of virtually anything that holds value. From ride-sharing to cloud storage to voting, companies in all industries are beginning to see blockchain’s potential. Earlier this year, consulting firm Deloitte predicted that by 2025, 10% of global GDP (approximately $12 trillion) would be built on top of Blockchain applications.

Since Blockchain technology enhances security and transparency, it could have a major impact on all types of supply chain transactions. Every time a product changes hands, from supplier to transport company to manufacturer to transport company to consumer, the transaction could be documented, creating a permanent history. This could dramatically reduce time delays, added costs, and human error that plague transactions today.

Smart Contracts that have computer codes, attached to Blockchain transactions, can be executed under predetermined conditions. The will help facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. A contract assumes that everything happened as per planned. With Smart Arbitration, either party can initiate a dispute electronically, and the dispute can be sent to an arbitration process before settlement.

Adrian Gonzales, president at Adelante SCM suggested, in a recent article in Spend Matters that Blockchain could become a new “supply chain operating system” based on its decentralized architecture, which “has the potential to trigger a new wave of innovation in how supply chain applications are developed, deployed and used. The Blockchain, in essence, could become the new operating system for supply chain operating networks — like Descartes, Elemica, GT Nexus, LeanLogistics, One Network Enterprises, and others that combine B2B connectivity with software applications — and also help federate those networks.”

Similarly transport companies could benefit in several ways. The following were some of the proposed applications as identified by Craig Fuller, Chief Executive Officer of TransRisk and Chris Burruss, President of the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance in a recent Stifel presentation.

• Recording RFPs and Transactions - Immutable record of agreed economics

• Payment and Settlement solutions - Quicker, cheaper payment

• Internet of Things - Parts Warranties, Vehicle Servicing, Odometer recordings

• EDI Communications - Communications with no intermediary

• Proof of Delivery - Recorded on Blockchain, available to relevant parties.

• Proof of Provenance (chain of custody/bread crumbs) - Verifiable provenance with long supply chains.

• Self executing Smart Load Contracts - Contracts executed and arbitrated using Blockchain, lowering risk and costs for both carriers and shippers.

To advance the process, Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, headed by Mr. Burruss (, has been formed to develop market standards. There are 260 companies that have applied (6 of the top 10 3PLs); at least one member touches eighty-five percent of the trucking transactions.

In Summary, Blockchain offers a unique value proposition to shippers and carriers. There are currently Blockchain initiatives in a broad array of industries.

As an example, a group of leading companies across the global food supply chain recently announced a major Blockchain collaboration with IBM intended to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system. A group of leading companies across the global food supply chain today announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM intended to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system. The consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart, who will work with IBM to identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.

One Network Enterprises, a global provider of multi-party digital network platform and services, recently announced ONE Chain, a new solution that empowers trading partners to fully harness the power and potential of blockchains. ONE Chain allows organizations to build and deploy sophisticated, highly scalable supply chain and other multi-party blockchain applications on top of the blockchain.

This new technology has some significant momentum and will likely be a key component of many elements of the freight transportation industry in the future.


To stay up to date on Best Practices in Freight Management, follow me on Twitter @DanGoodwill, join the Freight Management Best Practices group on LinkedIn and subscribe to Dan’s Transportation Newspaper (



  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

autonomous vehicles routing guide broker bonds Microsoft Truckload Load broker Horizontal Supply Chain Collaboration Canada-U.S. trade agreement YRC truck drivers Keystone Pipeline fuel surcharge automation Transportation Buying Trends Survey Business Strategy Doug Nix Software Advice Social Media in Transportation Driving for Profit Canada U.S. trade Fire Phone Emergent Strategy Transport Capital Partners (TCP) capacity shortages APL CRM drones BNSF home delibery bulk shipping online shopping Leadership natural disasters Finance and Transportation Muhammad Ali MPG Shipper shipper-carrier roundtable energy efficiency Donald Trump technology Transloading Freight Rates the future of transportation rail safety shipping wine broker security Social Media selling trucking companies University of Tennessee driver shortages 2014 economic forecast solutions provider economy consumer centric Blogging Freight contracts capacity shortage dynamic pricing shipping Business Transformation Strategy Rotman School of Business CSX David Tuttle Blockchain 2012 Transportation Business Strategies. Jugaad Distribution Conway Global Transportation Hub Grocery 2013 Economic Forecast ShipMax transportation newspaper Map-21 Scott Monty customer engagement Swift Otto freight transportation employee termination 2014 freight volumes Omni Channel Entrepreneur 3PLTL Adrian Gonzalez 360ideaspace Transplace FCA Twitter FCPC Canadian economy trade hiring process LinkedIn pipelines freight broker BlueGrace Logistics RFP e-commerce tanker cars Sales Management Global experience buying trucking companies Dedicated Contract Carriage Freight Carriers Association of Canada Comey UP Canadian truckers intermodal IANA Reshoring Business skills ELD robotics CN Rail Politics Dan Goodwill Carriers Tracy Matura Stephen Harper Trade Vision Career Advice Associates coaching Railway Association of Canada 2014 freight forecast network optimization freight transportation in 2011 home delivery Yield Improvement transportation news shipper-carrier collaboration Training New Hires last mile delivery US Manufacturing Freight LTL Inbound Transportation $75000 bond transportation audit Transportation FMS Deferred Packaging NMFC Consulting New York Times Sales TMS 2015 Economic Forecast freight costs FMCSA Colilers International freight agreements freight rate increases NS EBOR Warehousing Life Lessons Rate per Mile CSA scores MBA driverless ProMiles KCS carrier conference Crisis management freight audit Canada's global strategy Regina Success failure entrepreneur Failure future of freight industry Trump Transcom Fleet Leasing Wal-Mart Job satisfaction freight forwarders Whole Foods Derek Singleton US Election Werner economic forecasts for 2012 FuelQuest Canada Doug Davis derailments JB Hunt Right Shoring TMP Worldwide Infrastructure Canadian freight market Bobby Harris Accessorial Charges Dedicated Trucking Packaging driver Outsourcing Sales Management Rail Training Freight Management 3PL freight transportation conference Canadian Transportation & Logistics Masters in Logistics Spanx business start-up Broker financial management marketing Transportation service mentoring Load Boards Loblaw CSA Schneider Logistics Freight Shuttle System Success professional drivers LCV's Trucking Hudsons Bay Company Retail Freight Capacity Search engine optimization NCC Amazon Toronto Education CN Facebook supply chain management USA Truck dimensional pricing CITA Shipper Pulse Survey Crude Oil by Rail cheap oil Surety bond risk management US Housing Market freight cost savings freight RFP US Economy Celadon President Obama trucking company acquisitions CP Rail small business truck driver Sales Training US Auto Sales Ferromex Climate Change NAFTA Freight Recession peak season freight payment freight audit freight payment Harper Davos speech Freight Matching freight bid Driver Shortage Cleveland Cavaliers Retail transportation TransForce shipper-carrier contracts

Blog Archives