UPDATED 10:23 EST / NOVEMBER 14 2019

walmart-4054031_1920 BLOCKCHAIN

Walmart Canada and DLT Labs launch industrial freight and payments blockchain

Walmart Canada, the Canadian division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and data management platform DLT Labs Inc. announced today the launch of a full-service enterprise production distributed ledger blockchain solution for industrial applications such as freight and payments.

The new system will use distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions and automate payments along Walmart Canada’s supply chain. The store’s chain delivers inventory to over 400 stores across Canada annually.

By Feb. 1, all of Walmart Canada’s third-party carriers will be live and using the blockchain solution, which is accessible using a web portal and a mobile application.

The new blockchain-based freight and payment network will manage, integrate and synchronize all the supply chain data in real time. The system will aggregate the data between Walmart Canada and its fleet of third-party trucks using the shared ledger. The solution will also automate the myriad of necessary calculations that allow real-time invoicing, payments and settlement.

“Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data,” said John Bayliss, senior vice-president, logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada. “This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners. Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings and other benefits among our supply chain.”

The new system will also integrate each company’s legacy network. As a result, organizations can continue to use their existing processes without the need for expensive training or new technology.

Blockchain technology operates by sharing a cryptographically secured ledger between participants, which is only updated when enough holders of that shared ledger agree that all protocols have been followed. Once added to the blockchain, transactions are cryptographically dependent on previous additions. As a result, modifications to the ledger can be rapidly detected, making it very difficult to tamper with.

“This proves the high value of blockchain and sets the stage to revolutionize supply chain management and logistics, due to its ability to enable secure information sharing, manage trust and reduce waste in multipartner operational processes,” said Loudon Owen, chief executive of DLT Labs.

Walmart Canada ships thousands of items daily from sites located in Calgary, Mississauga and Cornwall to stores from coast to coast across Canada through over 4,500 associates and drivers. The company operates 8.75 million square feet of distribution center and moves more than 853 million cases of merchandise annually.

To track all of this data, Walmart Canada will use DLT Lab’s supply chain platform DL Asset Track attached to the blockchain network developed by the partnership.

Direct benefits of moving to this blockchain system include better data capture and integrity with increased trust across the distributed repository, faster transaction times, elimination of disputes, reduction in costs and the use of accurate real-time data to model better budgets and plan costs.

Industrial supply chains have been implemented with blockchain technology for years now, including solutions that implement traceability such as services from Adents International and Microsoft Corp., Eximchain Inc., industry agnostic supply chain blockchain Suku from Citizens Reserve and the IBM Food Trust commercial food safety blockchain.

Blockchain technology has also been used industrially to provide greater transparency and trust for product procurement in industries such as automotive to track minerals, such as Volkswagen Group tracking of battery materials, Open Mineral’s mineral supply chain and De Beers’ diamond authenticity blockchain.

“Just as the Roman’s concept, ‘dictum meum pactum’ (meaning ‘my word is my bond’) was fundamental to building trade, this product creates a secure digital handshake using blockchain to renew trust and efficiency in global trade,” Owen said.

Photo: Pixabay

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