The freight forwarding industry is one whose sole purpose is to enable global trade and commerce. By providing services that facilitate the transfer of goods, cargo, commodities, etc., as Freight Forwarders we provide a “value-add” through our ability to simplify and accelerate the process to transfer goods from one stakeholder to another. In this context, it is no wonder that technologies like block chain have been looked at closely as a providing a high probability for crashing to “transaction timeline” between any given set of clients.
If we think about the freight forwarding industry as a whole, what is really needed is a standardized way to quickly and efficiently track goods. At its core, blockchain represents an information technology that satisfies this need through its “ability to transparently record complicated transactions, track goods, and reduce fraud.” This core basis makes blockchain a logical candidate for helping to simplify, accelerate and grow the next generation business model for third party logistics.
As a result, many people are investing in blockchain to help satisfy these aforementioned needs. Over the past year we have seen a growth in “smart contracts” and “smart commodities”; an evolution that has tracked closely with the rise of crypto-currencies. To date, these new services and capabilities appear to have not really taken off…yet, but it is extremely exciting to see this evolution unfold.
So, what makes blockchain different from any other IT solution that is out there. In a word, the answer is tied to “trust!” As explained by Goldman Sachs, blockchain “combines the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust.” In an industry historically dominated by person-to-person relationships that are founded upon trust, this technology makes a lot of sense for the future of our industry.
Today, the idea that blockchain will revolutionize the Freight Forwarding industry is still more of a dream than a reality. However, as this technology becomes more mainstream, trusted, and adopted, we can see that it is only a matter of time until a disruptive innovation occurs and changes the way we do business forever!