Today’s Pickup: Blockchain on the rise and the search for solutions

Autonomous vehicle.  (Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves and managing director of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) traveled to Amsterdam to moderate a panel on blockchain in logistics and transportation for the 2018 Blockchain Expo. Panelists discussed the application of blockchain in the industry, as well as the advantages of blockchain technology and the challenges of blockchain adoption, providing case studies to support the conversation. 

According to Fuller, “Members of BiTA understand that blockchain isn’t just an industry disruptor, it’s technology that  will revolutionize the way people do business. BiTA wants to usher in this change in a uniform way that will benefit the entire industry.”

“Blockchain offers the opportunity to solve for transparency and create efficiencies across the industry. BiTA standards will address smart contracts, freight payments, asset maintenance and ownership history, chain of custody of freight, and other issues facing the industry.”

Did you know?

The demand for US-produced, long-lasting goods dropped in May for the second straight month, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Orders through the first five months of the year were up 9.9% from the same period in 2017, well outpacing the recent pace of consumer-price inflation. Durable-goods shipments fell 0.1% in May but were up 7% through the first five months of the year compared with the start of 2017.”


“Anyone that’s ever run a global supply chain has known the deal. They’ve been hurt by a supplier. Whether it was an error, a shipping delay, a quality or safety issue. The point is, no one has been immune. Blockchain will deliver an improvement. It makes everyone more accountable by providing a clear, transparent view of a product’s journey by recording supply chain events – like an asset exchange from one party to the next — as they occur.”

-Chris Kirchner, CEO and co-founder of Slync, on the importance of blockchain in the supply chain.

In other news:

UPS Calls new $100M tech hub in Paris its ‘largest-ever’ investment in France

As part of UPS’ $2 billion European investment plan, UPS opens a 98,000 square-foot package sorting and delivery hub just outside of Paris. The building’s technology enables the company to sort 37,000 packages per hour, “which is more than twice the capacity of the two facilities in Chilly-Mazarin and Savigny that it replaces, according to UPS.” (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Boston braces for robo-taxis to make downtown traffic even worse

A study conducted by the World Economic Forum, the Boston Consulting Group, and the city of Boston has found that autonomous vehicles will decrease travel time outside of the city’s center, but will increase travel time by 5.5% for downtown drivers. (Bloomberg)

Europe aims to make shipping more attractive for women

Discussions between the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) concerning women in the shipping industry have begun, as “only 2% of the seafaring workforce available for the EU fleet consist of women, whilst gender equality is being put at the heart of the EU’s fundamental values for sustainable and inclusive growth.” (World Maritime News)

Peter Voorhoeve named president and CEO of Volvo Trucks North America

Voorhoeve has 20 years of experience with the Volvo Group, holding positions in supply chain management and parts logistics prior to beginning his term as Volvo Group Australia President in 2013. (Commercial Carrier Journal)

Forget bitcoin, place your blockchain bets

In the next few years, the blockchain technology, goods, and services market is projected to reach $14 million. “There’s a lot of hype, a lot of talk and even more questions. But there is undeniably demand for solutions.” (Forbes)

Final Thoughts:

FreightWaves is proud to announce that Michael Lewis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Liar’s Poker (1989), Moneyball (2003), The Blind Side (2006), The Big Short (2010), and Flash Boys (2014), has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for MarketWaves18, FreightWaves’ conference on the economics and financing of freight.

MarketWaves18 will take place at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, on November 12 and 13.

Hammer down everyone!

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Maria Baker, Staff Writer

Maria is a staff writer who has covered everything from the environment to sign-on bonuses and women in the industry. She is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majored in English literature and minored in environmental studies. Maria loves writing about freight almost as much as she loves Emily Dickinson and the self-imposed challenge of finding the best iced mocha in Chattanooga.