Even more BiTA members
Blockchain is a trend that is continuously growing within the supply chain industry. However, it is still a bit of an unfamiliar zone for the supply chain in terms of having a set of industry standards. That’s where the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) comes into play; a forum created in August 2017 to educate and develop blockchain standards for the freight industry. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Kenco Logistics and ArcBest have joined the Alliance. As a result, the alliance now has more than 250 active members to help establish standards so that the full potential of blockchain can be achieved.
Kenco Logistics is one of the first third-party logistics providers to become a member of BiTA and can offer a unique outlook and insight to both the members and Alliance as a whole, as their services impact many parts of the supply chain. The other new participant, ArcBest, a freight and logistics solutions provider, is also teaming up with the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas for additional help and support with its education and research surrounding blockchain, with the intention to revolutionize the way people do business.
More information can be found here.
Walmart is pursuing drones to manage food supply chain
On Thursday, Walmart’s patent filings were revealed, and they suggest that the American multinational retailer is aiming to use drones to overcome any crop problems at their suppliers’ farms. The drones would not only identify issues with crops but also spray chemicals or scatter pollen on specific crops. This would prevent any crop damage, help control pest attacks and cross-pollinate plants. Drone technology is one method that would enable Walmart customers to receive the freshest and cheapest food possible and would help the retailer compete with the likes of Amazon and discount chains, such as Aldi and Lidl.
Using drones for farming activities can significantly help the environment because pesticides can be applied precisely, creating less air pollution while saving farmers money at the same time. In other sustainability initiatives, Walmart has also been working with their suppliers to decrease pollution by reducing the amount of fertilizer that is used on crops. Walmart applies for many patents each year, but there is normally no outcome for a vast majority of them. Therefore, this idea may not get off the ground.
To read more about this patent, click here.
All aboard the Japan-Europe Freight Transport Service
This week, Itochu, a Japanese trading corporation, announced the launch of a freight transport service which will link Japan and Europe. The Japanese company has been running trials on this Japan-Europe freight service since the beginning of this year and the service is set to be up and running by the end of March. The new service will use the current local railway logistic routes that have been established between China and Europe.
The service will start with shipping cargo by sea from Japan to Dalian and Shanghai. The cargo will then be transported in Itochu Logistic trucks to Chinese train stations where there are two rail routes that can be used, depending on the final destination; the northern route passing through Russia, Belarus and Poland; and the southern route passing through Kazakhstan to Germany and other areas. It will take approximately 25 days to ship in both directions by rail, which is a significantly longer journey in comparison to air, but at half the cost. The company will most likely export automotive parts, electronics and clothing, and imported products would consist of vehicles and processed foods.
To find out more about this service, click here.
Have a great weekend!
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