IBM Blockchain Pilot Seeks to Solve 'Last Mile' of Delivery

IBM is working with a Singapore startup to develop a network of storage lockers connected via blockchain.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2016 at 4:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:34 p.m. UTC
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IBM is working with a Singapore startup to develop a network of storage lockers connected via blockchain.

FreshTurf is looking to apply the tech to track delivery shipments, with dedicated storage lockers linked up through a distributed ledger platform. According to the two firms, the project is aimed at creating a network of these lockers throughout Singapore, with the goal of providing a “last mile” solution for consumers looking to keep track of their packages more easily.

The project is an early one to emerge from IBM’s BlueMix garage, a global network of innovation hubs that provides a foundation for startups and existing companies to experiment with blockchain and other technologies. The BlueMix network forms part of IBM’s broader strategy for blockchain applications.

The companies said in an announcement today that the hope is to provide a mechanism for consumers to check the status of their package deliveries in real time, explaining:

“Not only can the application of blockchain technology help provide visibility across the fulfilment chain, allowing users to track their parcel and delivery status from the convenience of their phone, it can help stakeholders to conduct shipping transactions in a highly secure and trusted environment.”

The connected locker system, currently in development, uses IBM’s blockchain offerings as a basis. The companies did not say if or when it might scale for commercial use.

The technology has been looked at for potential use in package delivery in the past. Earlier this year, the US Postal Service released a broad report detailing how it might use blockchain to track the movement of packages, while at the same time connecting its national fleet of delivery trucks to a similar system.

Image via Shutterstock

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