Saturday, 17 March 2018

GE Transportation joins global blockchain consortium

GE Transportation has announced it's joining a cross-industry consortium that's looking for ways to use blockchain tech in logistics.
The company will collaborate with other firms to utilise the blockchain in digital solutions for industry transformation.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) already consists of over 200 members, including logistics firms such as FedEx and UPS. Tech companies, retailers and analytics providers are also present within the consortium. According to a GE Transportation press release, the group's collective revenue is over $1 trillion.

BiTA is developing technologies to enable the use of blockchain tech within transportation and logistics. It's seeking to develop interoperable standards that will help the technology to proliferate. Having access to standardised platforms and protocols will be critical before transport firms can share resources using blockchains.

GE Transporation is already developing its own digital solutions to improve operating efficiency. The company cited examples including RailConnect, a platform for railroad automation, and Port Optimizer, a system used in the Port of Los Angeles to predict supply chain performance. It will now work with BiTA members to look more closely at blockchain tech, applying its learnings directly to the industry.

"As GE Transportation extends its capabilities into the broader supply chain, we’re connecting partners and customers at every node and across multiple modes," said Laurie Tolson, Chief Digital Officer for GE Transportation. "We look forward to bringing our applications to BiTA as we collectively seek to leverage the potential of blockchain across the industries we serve."

GE is currently undergoing large-scale digital transformation across its entire business. The company has previously investigated the use of blockchains in applications including aircraft maintenance and renewable energy. Blockchain's digital ledger technology makes it ideal for storing and sharing data across distributed networks, providing a single source of truth for peer-to-peer transactions.

BiTA was founded in 2017 and is currently preparing its first set of blockchain standards. The organisation will publish the standards this year, setting out guidelines for the use of blockchain in transportation. Issues it will address include freight payments, supply chain transparency, management of asset pools and adoption of smart contracts. The alliance also accepts new suggestions from its members on how blockchain could reduce inefficiencies in the industry.

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