Blockchain has come of age. At three separate conferences this week held in Atlanta that focused on the future of transportation the technology framework was heavily discussed. At the CSCMP conference this week, it was brought up in over five independent sessions. In two other industry conferences held in Atlanta it also became a topic of conversation. One was the Connected Fleet conference that brings together leaders in the telematics space and at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, a show that is dominated by the OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and large fleets. While all these shows had different audiences, they all had elements of commercial transportation and inspired discussions around what the future looked like and when blockchain would come of age.
A common theme among the panelists and blockchain experts in the audience were the lack of standards and the need to involve the companies that automated manual processes (paperwork and data entry) into the framework. After all, the companies that work automate these processes have both the most to gain and the most to lose, depending on whether they supported or fought the technology.
One company, perhaps more than most, Transflo could have a huge impact on the outcome of the proliferation of the blockchain technology standards. After all, the proof-of-delivery (POD) and bills-of-lading (BOL) are using outdated, but required methods and do everything from manage the payment process, help companies process claims, and serve as the legal binding document for over $8T of global transportation.
Transflo is the leader in the automation of these documents and has the largest market-share of document imaging products transactions in the market. The company is on track to facilitate more than $54 billion in freight bills, send 75 million mobile communications, and digitize nearly 500 million documents annually. They also have expanded into other types of data processing, including ELDs, mobile apps, and broad information services.
Blockchain is a type of technology that structures data in blocks that serve as a transparent activity ledger, documenting transaction history among parties. The technology can be used to manage and validate different types of economic transactions.
If you wanted to create a self-executing contract, having Transflo involved in developing the standards is very important. Transflo’s innovation teams have been exploring use cases about blockchain and the company’s electronic logging, mobile, and imaging solutions. Industry standards may help them bring new solutions to market.
“Software and technology continue to accelerate change across the transportation sector,” stated Frank Adelman, Transflo President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the right standards and industry support, blockchain may dramatically improve data quality and transform the way the industry does business. The BiTA mission and membership are compelling, and we’re excited to be an early member.”
BiTA members include influential technology firms, carriers, shippers, brokers, and OEMs. Working together with other companies in the organization, Transflo will help drive innovation in transportation commerce. The consortium expects to tackle initiatives that encourage the use of blockchain applications that improve contract management, shipment optimization, and record keeping.
“Transflo’s unique mobile, ELD, and document footprint provide important representation to the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance,” offers Craig Fuller, Co-founder of BiTA. “They’re a credible leader with a history of digitizing trucking processes. That’s expertise needed in blockchain, and we’re pleased to welcome them as a new member.”
According to BiTA, more than 160 companies have applied to join, including the largest technology companies, highly innovative startups, and established industry players. They believe that 85% of the truckload transactions touch at least one of the companies that are members of the Alliance.