“According to a recent article proponents of blockchain technology have identified a wide variety of potential applications that would benefit the providers and commercial users of transportation and logistics services, such as:
Foiling Imposter Carriers. Shippers sometimes fall victim to schemes whereby a fraudster masquerades as a legitimate carrier. For instance, the criminal intercepts information about a high-value load, arrives at the point of origin ahead of the legitimate carrier, obtains possession of the load with forged documents, and readily vanishes to fence the goods. However, blockchain may permit the shipper to identify a given carrier as an imposter if the carrier lacks the proper credentialing record created through blockchain technology.
Accelerating Load Tenders. A shipper or freight broker having control of a load could tag the load with an RFID chip containing points of origin and destination, rate, or other criteria. The RFID chip would be connected to a network such that carrier software could automatically search and bid on the transportation of the load based on predetermined rules. The load tender and acceptance would happen without human intervention.
Track and Trace. A pallet or other load tagged with an RFID chip could be tracked and traced via blockchain technology as that particular load moved through various locations having access to the internet, creating a detailed record of the load’s pedigree and chain of custody. Having this data is particularly beneficial for those involved in the transportation of pharmaceuticals or food products— even more so when a product recall need arises.
Expediting Payment. Shippers and carriers could enter smart contracts where the rules provide that payment is automatically made when a given load arrives at destination under various conditions. For instance, carriers may no longer need to devote substantial resources to billing and collection efforts if the network itself (rather than a third party) validates the blockchain such that payment is made automatically. This might also mean that certain carriers would no longer need to factor receivables.
Minimizing Claims. The same application of blockchain to track and trace cargo could be used to minimize claims. For instance, whether the load or the truck itself is tagged, a blockchain record will develop showing the time of pick-up and delivery, thereby creating unalterable evidence as to whether a given load was delivered timely or not.
Leveling the Playing Field. Many of the examples above illustrate how blockchain technology will benefit smaller carriers with limited resources by providing them faster payment, more expeditious claims handling, more and easier bid opportunities, and the like. By empowering smaller carriers, blockchain technology promises to make the transportation
Similarly, the combination of IoT and Blockchain can be used to ensure safe delivery of perishable food products by controlling and documenting the temperature throughout the transportation process. It also can be used to automate order fulfillment, invoicing and settlements using smart contracts.
In terms of telematics, it would enable manufacturers to add more sensors to help service centers securely capture and store engine diagnostics data and other vehicle performance information. This can be used with machine-learning algorithms to determine when a vehicle will require maintenance.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more applications will emerge.”