Toronto-based blockchain startup DLT Labs is partnering with Walmart Canada to launch a blockchain-based freight and payment network for the retailer. The companies claim this is the world’s largest full production blockchain solution for an industrial application.
“This proves the high value of blockchain and sets the stage to revolutionize supply chain management and logistics.”
The new system uses distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments between Walmart Canada and its carriers, which deliver inventory to over 400 store locations across Canada. DLT Labs is calling the network an industry first, touting it as the world’s first and largest blockchain solution in production.
“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 multi-partner operational processes,” said Loudon Owen, CEO of DLT Labs.
All Walmart Canada’s third-party carriers are scheduled to be live on the network by February 1, 2020. The solution can be accessed using the startup’s web portal and a mobile application.
In a statement, DLT Labs noted that connecting the data between Walmart Canada and its carrier partners will help improve the retail giant’s operations, delivery coordination, routing efficiency, waste and cost reduction, and automated payment settlement and processing.
DLT Labs noted some of the specific benefits of this new solution would include increased trust and transparency, which the startup said would be accomplished through information sharing and workflow automation, minimizing manual effort and increasing accuracy. Another benefit, DLT Labs said, would be improved collective resource utilization, including quicker responses, improved tracking and tracing, and early problem detection, which could increase system efficiency.
The solution is also expected to result in faster transaction times through real-time consolidation of all business rules and transactions. It would also allow all participants can manage the complex shipment, invoice, payment, and settlement process, while minimizing time spent on disputes.
“This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners,” said John Bayliss, senior vice-president, logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada.
DLT Labs was founded in 2017 and has office locations in Canada, India, and Japan. The startup consists of application architects, designers, and integrators, who are collectively developing a suite of blockchain products for the startup’s enterprise clients. DLT usually refers to distributed ledger technology, a system for recording the transaction of assets through which transactions and details are recorded in multiple places at the same time. This system is central to cryptocurrencies as well as a number of applications across healthcare, FinTech, and supply chain management.
Walmart as an organization has been exploring the use of blockchain in its production for a number of years. The retail giant began working with IBM in 2017 to track its food supply chain. IBM has attempted to become a leader in blockchain technology, developing the IBM Food Trust. The blockchain connected network is meant to make it faster and easier to connect various players in the supply chain, while also improving the safety of food.
“Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings, and other benefits among our supply chain,” said Bayliss. “Moreover, this degree of improved efficiency represents a powerful platform for us to continue to reduce our environmental footprint and continue our leadership in environmental sustainability.”
Image courtesy Walmart Canada via Flickr