Walmart debuts ‘largest’ blockchain system for 70 trucking companies in Canada
Walmart Canada has launched a blockchain-based freight and payment network for 70 third-party trucking companies carrying goods for 400-odd Walmart stores in Canada.
The new platform, designed with Toronto-based blockchain developer DLT Labs, uses distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments and reconciliation for members of Walmart’s supply chain in Canada, serving around 400 stores in the country.
All third-party carriers are scheduled to be live by February 1, 2020. The solution is accessible using a web portal and a mobile application. It is the “world’s largest full production blockchain solution for any industrial application”, said Walmart.
The new system uses DLT Labs’ supply chain platform, called DL Asset Track, which integrates with each company’s legacy systems. Supply chain companies are not required to invest in new technology, said Walmart.
John Bayliss, senior vice-president for logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada, said: “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.”
He added: “Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings and other benefits among our supply chain. This degree of improved efficiency represents a powerful platform for us to continue to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Pulling out a Latin reference, Loudon Owen, chief executive ay DLT Labs, commented: “Just as the Roman concept, dictum meum pactum (‘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.”
The blockchain platform has been tested by Bison Transport. Rod Hendrickson, vice president of finance at the company, remarked: “This project is a new paradigm that will greatly improve workflows, reduce paperwork, and make the business we do with Walmart more efficient.”
Walmart Canada runs a notable logistics operation. It moves more than 853 million cases of merchandise annually via a combination of third party couriers, as well as its own fleet of 180 tractors, 2,000 trailers and 350 drivers. Each third-party trailer tracks approximately 200 data points per shipment, it claims.