FedEx's Smith Sees Blockchain as `Next Frontier' for Logistics

Lloyd Doyle
May 17, 2018

Remember that time you tried to order a new computer from China, except the package arrived a month late and looked like evidence from a crime scene?

Transport and logistics giant FedEx Corp.is testing blockchain technology for tracking high-value cargo, and sees the software as "the next frontier" for worldwide supply chains, company Chairman and CEO Fred Smith told a technology conference yesterday. "While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world".

Smith explained that one major issue that the logistic and transportation industry has faced is the "massive amount of friction" in cross-border logistics, since different countries have different standards, regulations and terminologies. "What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody", he said.

As a "chain of custody systems on steroid, it is able to keep these kinds of custodial records in a completely pristine unalterable fashion".

FedEx isn't the only player trying to put the shipping industry on the blockchain.


Several token-based projects, including VeChain and WaltonChain, are also trying to create cryptocurrency-based freight ecosystems, and China's Tencent and Alibaba are also developing their own applications.

For this objective, in the winter, FedEx, within the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA), began cooperating with other corporations in the study of innovative blockchain solutions that could be further implemented. FedEx leverages technology to handle the large volumes of information needed to provide its customers with services like fast delivery and visibility into shipment locations, he said. "Thousands of companies have applied for membership".

FedEx's interest in the Internet of Things and Blockchain technology is part of the company's strategy to ensure better customer service and reduce competition.

The firm had already pledged allegiance with the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA), in a bid to research and figure out the numerous ways the technology can help improve their activities and potential revenue in the future.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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