Walmart Canada manages freight with blockchain

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Blockchain concept

Walmart Canada is launching a blockchain-based freight and payment network.

Leveraging the DLT Asset Track supply chain platform from enterprise blockchain solutions provider DLT Labs, Walmart Canada is using distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments and reconciliation among its third-party carriers delivering inventory to over 400 retail stores across Canada. The new blockchain-based freight and payment network manages, integrates and synchronizes supply chain and logistics data in real-time, aggregating the data between Walmart Canada and its fleet of third-party trucks on a shared ledger. 

The solution also automates the necessary calculations enabling real-time invoicing, payments and settlement. At the same time, it integrates with each carrier’s legacy systems, so organizations can continue to follow their existing processes without retraining or a new investment in technology. Walmart Canada initially investigated using blockchain technology in freight management as part of a broader focus on cost reduction.

Specific benefits Walmart Canada says it receives from using blockchain technology in freight management include automated, accurate data capture and sharing; improved tracking and tracing; earlier problem detection; faster transaction time; elimination of disputes with carriers; reduced administrative costs; and enhanced analytics and predictive modeling for budgeting and planning.

“Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data,” said John Bayliss, senior VP, logistics and supply chain, 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."

All Walmart Canada's third-party carriers are scheduled to be live on the new blockchain platform by Feb. 1, 2020. The solution is accessible using a Web portal and a mobile application.