- Penske Logistics is now a corporate member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), joining 3PLs like FedEx and UPS in the quest to better understand the tech and develop blockchain applications.
- Penske hopes the tech will improve order accuracy, tracking and transaction auditing, specifically in manufacturing, food and beverage sectors, according to a press release emailed to Supply Chain Dive.
- One reason Penske cited for joining the alliance is the recently released 2018 Third-Party Logistics Study, which found 30% of 3PLs and 16% of shippers believe blockchain is a "potential application" for business.
Blockchain may be a 2018 tech trend, but according to the latest study, most 3PLs and shippers aren't on board with it yet. If true, logistics providers including FedEx, Penske and UPS may be ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage if blockchain goes mainstream.
"We are exploring the use of blockchain technology for managing multi-party transportation networks. Blockchain is one of a number of trends and developments in our industry that we stay current with," Andy Moses, Penske Logistics senior vice president of global products told Supply Chain Dive.
Penske also told Supply Chain Dive that the company will run a blockchain pilot later this year.
The 3PL study indicated 73% of 3PL users and 92% of 3PL providers believe 3PLs provide "new and innovative ways to improve logistics effectiveness," and that 3PLs are still in the beginning stages of learning about and implementing blockchain technology.
Blockchain implementation may soon accelerate because shippers are increasingly turning to their 3PLs as "a source of capable IT technologies," the study found. At the same time, only 3% of shippers and 6% of 3PLs believe blockchain will change the way business is done.
But no one wants to be left behind, especially since technology drives so much innovation, cost savings opportunities and efficiency in the modern supply chain.
Big companies such as FedEx, Penske and UPS — as well as Maersk and Walmart and IBM — can afford to sink funds into blockchain exploration because it won't hurt them much if the tech doesn't pan out.
"We’ve joined BiTA to take part in better understanding the benefits of blockchain for our customers and to be a part of crafting the standard framework in the development and implementation of blockchain technology," Moses said, according to the press release.