Walmart Canada, a part of the American multinational retail giant Walmart has unveiled its blockchain freight tracking and payment system. The retail giant has worked with DLT Labs, a blockchain start-up for this project.
The freight industry is massive, however, the industry faces a number of challenges. Globally, the industry sees $140 billion tied in payment disputes every day.
As industry experts point out, a freight company waits for 42 days on an average for receiving payment for an invoice. Your average freight company typically has millions of dollars tied up in their accounts due to this.
Inefficient administrative processes account for 20% of the total costs in the freight industry. Given its reliance on paper-based systems, that’s hardly surprising though!
90% of the freight companies have six or fewer trucks, therefore, matching demand and supply is a challenge. Industry estimates say that truckers drive 29 billion miles per year with empty trucks or partial truckloads.
The freight industry needs to address these challenges, therefore, a suitable technology solution is the need of the hour. Blockchain can fit the bill here with its decentralization, distributed ledger, and security features.
The distributed ledger of blockchain facilitates sharing information instantly, moreover, it ensures immutability and transparency. Smart contracts running on blockchain networks are transparent and tamper-proof, and they can improve contract administration.
Industry experts believe that blockchain has several utilities in the freight industry. E.g., blockchain can improve the performance tracking of trucks, moreover, it can improve freight tracking. Capacity monitoring, easier sharing of documents, securing sensitive information are the other use cases.
How the new blockchain freight tracking system can make a difference for Walmart Canada
As you would expect, Walmart Canada runs highly complex freight operations. The company has over 4,500 associates and drivers moving thousands of items daily.
The movement of goods is from their sites in Calgary, Mississauga, and Cornwall, and to over 400 Walmart stores from coast to coast in Canada. The company has a massive fleet of its own, moreover, it avails the services of 3rd parties.
Walmart Canada moves over 853 million cases of merchandise every year, and its 3rd party freight partners track nearly 200 data points per shipment. The company plans to improve this massive operation with the help of blockchain, and they have worked with DLT Labs for this.
DLT Labs is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the company specializes in building enterprise blockchain solutions. Walmart Canada is using its supply chain platform named DL Asset Track in this project.
The new blockchain freight tracking and payment system will manage, integrate, and synchronize the supply chain and logistics data for Walmart Canada. It will offer several benefits, e.g.:
- Data integrity;
- Faster transactions;
- Eliminating disputes;
- Cost reduction;
- Better planning and budgeting.
A key benefit of this new system is that it will seamlessly integrate with the legacy systems of the 3rd party freight partners of Walmart Canada. The system features easy-to-use web and mobile apps, and it will also enable real-time invoicing, payments, and settlements.
Walmart: Bullish on blockchain
Walmart is already aggressively integrating blockchain in its operations, e.g., the company will use blockchain to track shrimp farming. It has joined MediLedger, a blockchain network to combat counterfeit drugs, moreover, the company is using blockchain to track fresh produce supplies. The new blockchain freight tracking and payment system is yet another evidence that Walmart is serious about blockchain!