UPS Joins Blockchain Consortium Amid Moves To Go Paperless

The worldwide shipping company UPS has joined a logistics-focused blockchain consortium as part of its wider strategy to embrace blockchain technology.

The company, which operates domestic and international delivery services across the globe, became the latest member to join the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, a consortium set up to develop use cases for blockchain specific to the transport and logistics sectors.

The move is in keeping with UPS’s wider blockchain strategy, with the company undertaking several different projects as it explores how distributed ledger technology can be integrated within the operations side of the business.

Linda Weakland, a senior executive at UPS responsible for innovation and enterprise architecture, said the partnership with the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance consortium will enable UPS to explore several different use cases for the technology.

“The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders.”

UPS will work within the consortium to develop technical standards for blockchain in the logistics sector, and comes as one of the strongest confirmations yet that UPS will actually implement the technology within its distribution networks.

The decision to join the consortium is the latest in a series of positive moves from UPS toward developing blockchain technology for the logistics sector, thought to be one of the biggest industries set to benefit from the developing distributed ledger technologies.

UPS has already begun exploring blockchain applications for customs brokerage, as well as embracing a broader drive toward entirely paperless distribution. According to reports, they hope to create more efficient processes that customers and partners can interact with directly to streamline the distribution chain.

Aside from finance, shipping and logistics have long been discussed as sectors ripe for the benefits of the blockchain. By their nature, distribution services fit neatly into the distributed structure of blockchain applications, and industry analysts have identified dozens of potential applications for the technology within the sector.

With UPS sounding ever more bullish, and with the shipping giant now taking an increasingly hands-on role in shaping blockchain standards for logistics, today’s news brings that reality closer.