Walmart Canada and DLT Labs Partner on Blockchain Project
The world’s first and largest implementation of blockchain has officially touched down in Canada, brought about by the partnership of Walmart Canada and DLT Labs.
We’ve known for years that blockchain platforms are the future of the transportation industry. But now it’s become a reality with the first practical implementation of this technology at scale for industrial application being introduced.
Walmart Canada and DLT Labs have partnered up on a blockchain-based freight and payment system that they say is scheduled to go live by February 1, 2020. And this isn’t your run-of-the-mill platform… it may actually change the face of the logistics industry quite a bit.
Blockchain is here, and it’s time to take note.
What is the Blockchain?
Blockchain is a shared network and database of stored information that resides in the cloud. It functions as a digital ledger for all data points throughout the supply chain. This way, all logistics partners can see the exact steps of the production process as it’s occurring in real-time.
Already the logistics networks are becoming more interconnected with the Internet of Things. Connecting all parties, devices, and processes indeed has a lot of benefits. However, the management of large-scale networks and keeping all partners in the loop can oftentimes be overwhelming.
That’s where the blockchain steps in to streamline and simplify, radically minimizing expended resources and improving accuracy.
We have covered blockchain technology rather extensively here on the Redwood blog. Check out the following resources to learn more about the blockchain:
- Blockchain: The Future of the Supply Chain
- Blockchain Technology and its Impact on Logistics
- Blockchain for Omnichannel Supply Chains
- Blockchain and the Supply Chain
What Does the Walmart Canda and DLT Partnership Look Like?
Walmart Canada’s distribution centers and transport team are an expansive operation. They have over 4,500 logistics associates and drivers that move coast to coast, delivering to over 400 retail locations. There are over 8.75 million square feet of distribution space, and they move more than 853 million cases of merchandise annually. Walmart Canada has 180 tractors, 2,000 trailers and more than 350 trailers.
That, in of itself, is a lot to organize and track. Especially so when considering that each trailer has about 200 data points per shipment.
Moreover, Walmart Canada doesn’t function on its own. It has a third party fleet of about 70 carriers with hundreds of thousands of additional data points. These carrier partners alone move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally.
Walmart Canada needed a way to organize all of this distribution and transport noise in order to continue to offer the lowest possible prices to their customers. They needed to find a method for elevated levels of efficiency and transparency. Blockchain technology was the solution, and they made the decision to make the dive into implementation.
What Does This DLT Technology Look Like?
DLT is working with Walmart Canada on its supply chain platform DL Asset Track, which is a blockchain freight and payment network. This will integrate and aggregate all of Walmart Canada’s logistics along with their third party carriers to manage and synchronize operations. It uses a distributed shared ledger to do everything from track deliveries, manage drivers, automate payments, and reconcile concerns.
The best part is that DLT’s blockchain integrates with each company’s unique system. That means Walmart and their carriers can continue to use their same organizational systems without having to invest in new technology.
Prior, experts often worried that the upfront costs and resources needed to switch to blockchain technology would be the biggest barrier to entry—but DL Asset Track is proving that may not necessarily be the case.
What are the Benefits of Blockchain Technology?
- Improves operations: With real-time updates, blockchain will allow for improved tracking and tracing, quicker responses, early problem detection, and more efficient routes and delivery coordination.
- Captures data: This AI-driven tech will help automate workflows and calculations, improving accuracy and enhancing efficiency and transparency.
- Automates payments: DLT’s payment network automates transactions and creates streamlined invoices to speed up payment and reconciliation.
- Eliminates disputes: One of the biggest headaches in the supply chain is understanding where things are going wrong. Blockchain allows for complete transparency to pinpoint problems, determine solutions, ensure all partners are doing their part.
- Minimizes environmental footprint: Transportation has a huge impact on the environment. Creating more efficient processes can radically change the footprint of shipping and distribution.
- Reduces costs: Altogether, there’s a lot less waste, fewer problems, better planning, and increased efficiency—which means a dramatic reduction in costs for all parties involved.
Blockchain is Officially Here
The high value of blockchain implementation for “smart” transportation is poised to completely revolutionize the supply chain process and what this means for efficiency and transparency moving forward.
Walmart Canada and DLT’s partnership presents the world’s first utilization of blockchain for industrial application, and we’re expecting a lot of Walmart’s other big box competitors to start following suit. Walmart will likely roll this technology out in Canada and other countries, and then others will adopt it… and the rest is history. The world without blockchain will quickly be a distant memory.
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