In a world where online purchases have become the norm from an exception, transport and logistics have grown to play a bigger role than ever. The impact that it has on the general populace has increased to monumental levels. There is no two-ways about the fact that transport and logistics will have to evolve along with every aspect of 21st century lives — accepting the influence of technology in its transformation. The aspect that is largely missing from the present process of transport and logistics is transparency. Most customers are not aware of where their products are coming from and through which route would it reach them. Furthermore, multiple people and authorities can inspect the product before it even reaches you, which increases the cost considerably. In addition, most of these processes are still largely reliant on paper. A generation ago, a major shift in the field of transport and logistics was the shift to third-party shipping companies, and now the industry is moving towards a world that relies on harnessing the power of the cloud. The rise of multiple digital platform based sellers, and consumers buying products from overseas sellers have mandated the upgradation in the process in order to weed out inefficiencies.

Why Blockchain?

There was a time not so long ago that required companies to keep track of just two parties. Most logistics hubs now deal with multiple stakeholders — involving containers, finance, fuel, transport, and regulatory paperwork. Multi-party coordination becomes more challenging that is asset-rich in every form possible. There are three active factors that are forcing transport and logistics firms to adopt technologies such as blockchain — new infrastructure and technology, richer and accessible logistics data, and the constant pressure if reducing overall costs. On the other hand, consumers expect a level of professionalism that is impossible to attain with a long trail of paperwork.

In the sector of cross-border transport and logistics, blockchain will greatly increase the transparency of global supply chains. Blockchain would ease the tracking of international shipments, reduce administration costs through automation of the documentation process, and above all provide a secure channel for transactions across the entire logistic chain.

Proven Benefits of Blockchain

As it works today, transport and logistics chain from a manufacturer to the consumer involves multiple stakeholder — these include exporters, terminal operators, port authorities, freight forwarders, and customs agencies among many other. In most cases, paperwork involved in the process still requires to be handed from one stakeholder to another in person. This can lead to situations where the product might have reached a certain point on the route, but the corresponding paper trail has not come to speed. End receivers, or customers, might not have clear understanding and information of such lags, thus generating a sense of dissatisfaction while also making the entire process costlier than it needs to be.

Employing blockchain would instantly alleviate a number of these apprehensions from the process. Blockchain would be instrumental in minimising or even eliminating the redundancy of information that is inevitable in paperwork. The repetition of information across multiple documents in a largely manual process often leads to confusion, or even worse, errors that can elongate the process.

Blockchain would also allow the registration of digital insignia and signature of each party within the same chain that is accessible to every stakeholder in real time, thus increasing security of the process. In case of any errors that are identified, blockchain would allow for considerably easy tracking of the errors and provide solutions to rectify them with minimum aggravation to the process chain. Additionally, blockchain allows all stakeholders to have continual access to all information about the process on one common platform.

The integration of blockchain into transport and logistics would substantially reduce the monopoly that certain intermediaries have over critical information about the process. Employing blockchain would allow all parties to have complete access to all kinds of information that is integral to the entire process. In a way, this would make the entire industry a level playing field for small and medium enterprises in the supply chain. Blockchain provides a level of security that is unparalled. Algorithms are the basis of every blockchain, and not everyone can get into the system and make changes to the algorithm. This ensures the ultimate security that encourages a sense of security and trust.

The Way Forward From Here

There is no denying that blockchain would become an essential part of every firm across industries. It would be essential that the application of blockchain and its integration into the industry is seamless. If a situation rises where half the industry functions on blockchain, while the other half is stuck to papers, it would be heavily detrimental to the entire industry. In order to ensure that the technology is adopted simultaneously across the industry, it would become necessary to inform and coach players in the industry irrespective of their operational size. Larger organisations can lead by example and motivate the smaller companies to take up blockchain services. A greater boost can come from governments. It the government agencies in the transport and logistics chain shift to blockchain and insist on working only through that singular platform, companies would have to adopt blockchain for their cross-border bill payments, license renewals, and visa applications. This impetus can speed up the integration process manifold.

It is imperative that the potential of blockchain in the transport and logistics sector is enormous to say the least, but its mass adoption is the only way that can guarantee large-scale change and development. Improving cyber security, providing requisite privacy, and increasing the extent of interoperability of the systems would determine the scale to which blockchain would grow and expand within the industry.

About Fusion Informatics

The world in closing in and everyone wishes to live in a world of hyper-connectivity. However, geographical distances remain the same, therefore transport and logistics would continue to take time to scale the world encouraging global trade. Like everything else, technology has a solution for this too. Technology can immensely help in cutting down the time that transport and logistics usually take. Blockchain is meant to ease processes, and it would lend a sense of security and transparency to the entire industry. Nevertheless, blockchain remains an enigma for most. Experts at Fusion Informatics are trained, and dedicated, to ensure that clients are duly informed about the changes that blockchain would bring into their organisation. We are committed to understanding the specific needs that our clients might have, and design technology solutions that are tailor-made for them; and in service of achieving their objectives and improving their business.