The technology behind tracking and tracing the transport is changing time to time with the evolution of technology. The phones and fax machines were replaced by EDI (electronic data interchange) and API (Application Programming Interface) is being currently used. But, Blockchain is deemed as the future technology for tracking and tracing of the carriage.
The Blockchain is often misunderstood with Bitcoin. However, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency while Blockchain is the technology used to transfer Bitcoin between two users. Now, the technology is being adopted by other industries like healthcare, finance, transportation etc.
What is BlockChain?
This highly influential technology is still untapped by many businesses because of the lack of awareness. In common language, blockchain is decentralized public ledger which is observed and maintained by every member of the team or network. Everyone can see the updates in real-time. Every update is verified by the key members and added to the chain in the form of blocks using cryptography.
Let’s see how Blockchain benefits transportation industry –
No room for fudging
Transportation industry or supply chain usually suffers from the risk of fraud. The loads in the carriage get damaged or stolen during the journey. The original product might get replaced by some other imitated product. When the data is being validated in real-time with a time stamp in the open ledger and is simultaneously secured by creating blocks leave no room for fudging.
The updated and validated data cannot be fudged later. Even the technology makes it possible to keep the records of data associated with quality like temperature, vibrations and pressure etc. on the containers in the ledger in real-time. Observing such minute details makes the technology impeccable.
Each participant in the network can see the updated and validated data in the ledger in real-time. Concerned people can see the location and condition of the asset at any point of time. The Blockchain ledger can include n number of members to participate.
The start and end point of the journey of the asset are not mere manufacturer and retailer; it can also include people associated with supplying raw material. The real-time updates can help relevant people at the next step to be ready to take the required action.
So, the receiver cannot be misled about the actual origin of the asset. If the cotton to make t-shirt is to come from India then the fabric in t-shirt will be actually Indian.
There is a lot of paperwork required, to maintain the data of the complete journey of the asset. The data is made and secured at different places and then sent to the required place when demanded. The whole process encompassing material and people entail a big chunk of money to be spent.
The whole money utilized can be saved using Blockchain technology in transportation. The removal of middle-man or broker also saves the money. The actual money spent on man and material in the transportation is updated on the ledger, so the prevention of fraud also minimizes the cost.
Paperwork for authentication takes a lot of time but it is minimized by the system of Blockchain as there is no need for hard copies. It also lessens the time of validation since the chain of Blockchain is kept verified. Validation of the delivery of the asset is usually done by freight brokers or a receiving party and the payment is released only after acknowledging the satisfactory delivery. Elimination of middle-men also saves the time.
Fast and precise identification of issues
Many times the issues remain unidentified because the accountable person always blames others instead of accepting his mistake. Here in blockchain technology in transportation, when the data is kept secure on every step, the process is streamlined and the issue can be identified easily.
It also helps to identify the accountable person precisely because as we have already discussed that the data cannot be fudged at any point of time. Rather there are very few chances of any issue to occur because the system is decentralized and everyone is keeping an eye on the whole system.
In a nutshell, the technology possesses all vices required for the transportation industry. The most important thing is that it maintains the trust while discarding the exorbitant cost and hassles because the journey is traced flawlessly. Now there are many people to keep an eye on the activities of the others.
The blockchain technology is still regarded as future technology because it’s not being used in full swing. A handful of big companies are testing it. One more reason is that the people need to be trained to use it. It is technical and everyone cannot use it without training.
In spite of all these challenges, experts claim it to be a must-have technology in future for transport. Just as the internet has taken a significant place in our lives, Blockchain technology in transportation would become obligatory in near future.