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UPS crew loading cargo at Shanghai Pudong International Airport

UPS Joins Top Alliance to Create Blockchain Standards for Logistics

UPS have announced that they have joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), a forum for the development of blockchain technology standards and education for the freight industry.

Blockchain, a digital database using blocks that are linked and secured by cryptography, can be used to keep record of any information or assets. This includes physical assets, like transportation containers, or virtual assets, like digital currencies.

“Blockchain has multiple applications in the logistics industry, especially related to supply chains, insurance, payments, audits and customs brokerage,” said Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation. “The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders.”

UPS says they view blockchain as a truly disruptive technology that could change many facets of global commerce. In particular, they are exploring blockchain applications in their customs brokerage business. UPS is one of the world’s largest customs brokers, and a key objective of its brokerage strategy is to digitize transactions. Blockchain technology would help by improving transaction accuracy and by replacing existing paper-heavy and manual processes. This will benefit all parties involved in the transactions. Such an application would be highly secure and would generate valuable efficiencies for shippers who rely on UPS for customs brokerage.