FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith has today reaffirmed his commitment to blockchain technology, claiming that the tech has the potential to “revolutionize” the industry.
Talking today at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York, the logistics company chairman said that he views the technology as a way for the industry titan to maintain its edge in the new digital landscape.
Explaining the “massive amount of friction” that companies face due to conflicting regulations and standards in different jurisdictions, he explained that:
"For cross-border shipments, 'trust' is legal requirement for every transaction. What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody."
The company sees blockchain as a solution to the problems the logistics and shipping industry faces in terms of the “chain of custody” - that is - the challenges of knowing every stage in a supply chain and where everything originates.
FedEx’s CIO Robert Carter, also talking at the panel explained that the company will first implement the tech in the freight industry:
"We move easily 12 million shipments a day and that more than doubles during the peak seasons. While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world.”
This is by no means the first move into the space from FedEx, with the company in February joining the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA).
The logistics industry in general is also getting on board in a big way. Samsung announced last month that they are looking to blockchain to improve their global shipping network, and IBM’s blockchain for supply chain initiative boasts partners such as shipping giant Maersk.