Posted on

Warren Buffet's Railroad Firm Joins Blockchain Alliance

BNSF Railway, a major U.S. freight railroad network owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, has become the latest member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

Announcing the news on Feb. 5, BNSF said in a statement that it joins the alliance in an effort to work with other members to set standards for how data can be transacted within a transportation blockchain, as well as how that data needs to be formatted and structured.

Muru Murugappan, BNSF’s CIO and vice president of technology services, commented:

“Blockchain technology has the potential to change several aspects of the transportation industry and it is important that the industry comes together to align around a set of standards.”

With the move, BNSF also becomes one of the first railroad network operators in North America eyeing a role for blockchain in pushing through an industry transformation.

BiTA currently has over 200 members from the logistics, transportation and technology industries, and aims to develop standard applications of blockchain technology for the group’s members.

Current notably members include SAP, UPS as well as Fedex and the logistic arm of China’s e-commerce giant JD.com – the latter two joining the alliance just last month in an effort to integrate blockchain into their daily operations.

BNSF image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

FedEx Moves Forward With Blockchain Logistics Plans

Global shipping giant FedEx has begun efforts to integrate blockchain-based platforms into its daily operations by joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA)

Freightwaves, a cargo shipping news organization, reported that FedEx had begun developing a set of industry standards for blockchain usage as part of the BiTA. The company, which joined the organization as a founding member, has already begun testing some blockchain platforms.

FedEx, which is part of BiTA’s standards board, launched a pilot program using blockchain to store data for dispute resolution, said vice-president of strategic planning and analysis Dale Chrystie. The project hopes to establish what data would be needed for a permanent ledger to ease disputes between customers sending and receiving goods through FedEx.

The shipping giant also wants to use blockchain to store its records, he said, expanding:

“We have millions of records a day in our system, and we think of blockchain as a secure chain of custody that could transform the logistics industry. We believe it holds a lot of promise in that space and would streamline all that data exchange in a very secure way.”

Similarly, FedEx senior vice president of IT Kevin Humphries told Freightwaves that blockchain platforms would allow customers to more efficiently track packages, not only while they are in FedEx’s possession but also before and after the corporation picks them up.

While FedEx has only outlined a few possible use cases so far, Humphries said he was “hopeful that blockchain will have many use cases.”

FedEx plane image via Mike Fuchslocher / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Road to Innovation? Truck Giant Penske Joins Blockchain Group

Global transport company Penske Logistics has become the latest company to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

The organization aims to spur blockchain development in the transport industry by creating applications for supply chain and logistics processes, asset tracking, and transaction ledgers, according to a press release. Penske became a corporate member of the alliance on Jan. 15.

The company specifically may work on creating applications for its food and beverage transports, as well as for its manufacturing division.

Senior vice president of global products Andy Moses said the company planned to study blockchain technology as part of their joining the alliance.

He said:

“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.”

Penske joins companies such as United Parcel Service in the consortium. Last year, UPS announced it was joining to help develop standards for blockchain platforms, including on how to use the tech to facilitate payments.

At the time, the consortium was called the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, and focused its energies specifically on that industry.

However, the addition of rail companies and other transportation-related groups led to the consortium’s name change.

Penske trucks image via EQRoy / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.