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Today’s Pickup: Nestle, Kroger and Tyson among companies testing blockchain

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Fkbowen )

Good day,

IBM has announced 10 companies that will begin running trials of its blockchain-enabled technologies, including major food supplier Nestle SA, according to Reuters.

All the companies will test the use of blockchain in the food supply chain. The other companies involved include Unilever, Tyson Foods, Kroger, Dole Food Company, McCormick & Company, Golden State Foods Corp, Driscoll’s and McLane Co. Walmart is also running a test of IBM’s technology.

Walmart said during a test, it was able to track the movement of mangoes in 2.2 seconds instead of nearly seven days.

“Yes, the industry is cautious because this could be the next best thing since sliced bread but you wouldn’t say everything was fine and dandy after a trial you had with just two suppliers,” Kroger’s head of food safety Howard Popoola told Reuters. “The key right now is to involve suppliers and retailers and see how well we can share data to oil the IBM blockchain machine. This is an opportunity for us to speak with one voice and say to the world that food safety is not going to be a competitive issue.”

Did you know?

During the June 6-8 Roadcheck event, enforcement officers placed 19.4% of all vehicles out-of-service for violations and 4.7% of drivers. In all, 62,013 inspections were conducted over the three days.


“It is not just about building the technology, it is about building the ecosystem.”

Brigid McDermott, vice president for blockchain business development at IBM, on the potential of blockchain in the supply chain

In other news:

Truck tonnage up again in July

For the third consecutive month, truck tonnage posted a year-over-year growth, rising 2.3% in July, according to the American Trucking Associations. (Transport Topics)

Inside the testing of Uber’s trucks

A series of emails in the Google-Uber lawsuit brings to light how the companies have been pushing the envelope of autonomous vehicle laws in California to test their cars and trucks. (Gizmodo)

Imports rising fast

Newfound confidence in the economy has retailers stocking up for good times ahead, as imports to the nation’s ports neared record highs, according to the latest data. (Wall Street Journal)

Chinese self-driving truck company opens in Arizona

A Chinese company that tested a self-driving truck in Arizona in June has decided to open operations in the state, bringing as many as 100 engineering jobs to the state. (Tucson Sentinel)

FedEx opens new DC in Tennessee

FedEx is opening a $30 million distribution center in Chattanooga, TN, bringing about 300 new jobs to the area. The site is expected to open next month. (Times Free Press)

Final Thoughts

The news that companies such as Kroger, Nestle, Tyson Foods and others will be testing IBM’s blockchain technology provides more support behind the blockchain movement and will help determine how valuable it will ultimately be in the food supply chain.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.