In a speech addressing Congress on May 8, Douglas Maughan urged the US to lead the way on blockchain development by calling it the “technology of the future.” As the Division Director of Science and Technology for the US Department of Homeland Security, Maughan met with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to highlight the benefits of blockchain in business applications--particularly in shipping, logistics and customs--with an emphasis on supply chain management.
According to Maughan, the government views blockchain as having the potential for enhanced transparency and auditing of public service operations. Further, blockchain has greater supply chain visibility to combat the distribution of counterfeit products and the automation to eliminate paper-based processes. He suggested adoption of blockchain is geared toward improving the delivery of services to organizations and citizens.
TMW systems is well ahead of the curve on blockchain and has already been leading the charge to bring this game-changing technology to the industry. Blockchain in shipping can address myriad challenges, including waste, inefficiency, a lack of freight visibility and, as Maughan stressed, fraud and security issues.
Some of those benefits include smart contracts that automatically enforce terms among parties; complete and accurate visibility of shipment movements documented in a ledger; and unalterable documents related to the entire bidding and transaction processes. These are among a host of other improvements blockchain can bring to the transportation industry.
But there is still one giant hurdle: collaboration in the industry. Maughan highlighted the need for standards and cooperation in the various industries that are exploring blockchain applications (others include banking, healthcare and retail). He said these sectors are in need of vendor-neutral guidance and best practices and noted an increasing tension between business and system owners and blockchain providers.
For its part, TMW has been working to foster more collaboration in the transportation industry. To that end, TMW is a charter member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) and founder of the Blockchain Engineering Standards for Transportation and Logistics (BEST-L). The latter, a think-tank, works to set open engineering standards and exchange crucial information among parties that will be intimately involved in blockchain technology. BEST-L participants are entrenched in developing code and design examples geared toward creating standards as well as providing mentoring simultaneously.
There is no doubt that blockchain can drive tremendous growth in transportation, including the security and fraud issues that Maughan presented to Congress. TMW Systems is the industry leader in efforts to develop the blockchain standards that will radically propel the transportation industry into the future. As it can be seen in the news every day, the transportation industry doesn’t have much room for growth, but it has plenty of room to innovate through collaboration. Industry leaders, including those in the government, are starting to agree.
To understand TMW’s blockchain efforts to organize the transportation services industry around a common set of standards and practices, please download one or all of our whitepapers:
- Blockchain for Transportation: Where the Future Starts
- Building Blockchain Applications for the Transportation Industry
- Measuring and Maximizing Utilization in Trucking: Stepping Cases for Blockchain