CANADA – Technology’s rapid rise in popularity has led to a supply chain entirely different from that of the past. Companies from both the buy- and supply-sides of the industry are investing their efforts in going digital. Walmart is one company leading the charge, as its Canadian division recently launched a blockchain-based supply chain that includes freight tracking and payment processing for 70 trucking companies whose goods are transported to more than 400 retail stores. With the new system now live across all of the company’s third-party freight carriers in Canada, industry analysts do not dispute Walmart’s claim as the largest blockchain-based supply chain network in the world.
“Walmart Canada is dedicated to efficiency across our business, including most importantly in our supply chain and logistics management. Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data. This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners,” said John Bayliss, Senior Vice-President, Logistics and Supply Chain. “Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings, and other benefits among our supply chain. Moreover, this degree of improved efficiency represents a powerful platform for us to continue to reduce our environmental footprint and continue our leadership in environmental sustainability.”
According to Computerworld, Walmart joined forces with its tech partner, Toronto-based DLT Labs, to create the network dubbed DL Asset Track. Automating freight shipment tracking and invoice creation, the system uses IoT sensors and GPS tracking in its semi-trailer trucks. Additionally, the network includes a web portal and mobile app that can be manually accessed by operators and suppliers.
“Walmart is a global leader in innovation, with a relentless focus on improving people’s lives, and DLT Labs is delighted to partner with such an extraordinary organization to bring the world’s first and largest blockchain solution for industry into production. This proves the high value of blockchain and sets the stage to revolutionize supply chain management and logistics, due to its ability to enable secure information sharing, manage trust and reduce waste in multi-partner operational processes,” said Loudon Owen, CEO of DLT Labs. “Just as the Roman’s concept, ‘dictum meum pactum’ (meaning ‘my word is my bond’) was fundamental to building trade, this product creates a secure digital handshake using blockchain to renew trust and efficiency in global trade.”
With companies like Bitcoin and TradeLens already well-versed in blockchain operations, the industry is dissecting how Walmart managed to create the world’s largest blockchain-powered supply chain. According to a press release, it all comes down to prioritizing network automation over advanced “node” security. While the company is sacrificing resilience, it managed to gain the ability to share more information with other entities. Walmart took extra care with its technical integration, ensuring that existing corporate data systems are compatible.
One of the major roadblocks for many companies looking to adapt this technology is the involvement with a third-party data system, which oftentimes leads to discrepancies in the supply chain. The real-time, actionable data for invoice creation that Walmart utilizes is a simple solution to minimizing miscommunications along the chain.
For more of the nitty-gritty of Walmart’s new blockchain technology, check out the grocer’s press release here. To see how technological innovations continue to evolve in the industry, keep reading AndNowUKnow.