Global shipping giant UPS has joined a blockchain consortium focused on the trucking and shipping industry.
The aptly-named Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) announced today that the firm will help develop standards around the tech's use for systems that track packages, facilitate payments between shipping parties and other applications within the industry.
In statements, Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, cited several possible use cases that UPS plans to explore through the consortium.
Weakland was quoted as saying:
"The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders."
Today's announcement struck a notably bullish note on the question of whether the technology will actually find its way into the firm's services. Developing standards around blockchain, UPS said, "will support the logistics strategies that enable...customers to participate in global trade and finance."
UPS is already looking into how blockchain can be used in its customs brokerage business, according to the release. The idea is that the technology could help UPS shift away from largely paper-based processes and toward a more efficient, shared platform that its customers and third-party associates can use.
The trucking consortium was originally created to help develop such standards, co-founder Craig Fuller said in a statement when the group was formed.
UPS trucks image via Lukassek / Shutterstock