The Canadian division of American multinational retail corporation Walmart has partnered with DLT Labs to launch a blockchain-based frieght and payment network.
The new solution uses distributed ledger technology to allow 70 of Walmart Canada's trucking partners to share data relating to deliveries to Walmart's more than 400 retail stores in Canada. As such, the solution is able to manage, integrate and synchronize data from Walmart's supply chain and logistics data in real time, allowing the company to reduce the costs involved with verifying transactions, managing invoices and settling payments between Walmart and its trucking partners.
"Walmart Canada is dedicated to efficiency across our business, including most importantly in our supply chain and logistics management. Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data," said John Bayliss, senior vice-president of logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada.
In the announcement, Walmart Canada notes that its distribution centres are particularly busy places, with more than 4,500 associates covering 8.75 million square feet of distribution space to move 835 million cases of merchandise each year. By automating much of the logistics involved in this process using DLT Labs' DL Asset Track supply chain platform, Walmart Canada expects to cut overheads and improve efficiency, to save money.
Although the system is already live and in operation, Walmart Canada expects it will be rolled to the rest of its third-party carriers by February 1, 2020.
This isn't the first time Walmart has dabbled with blockchain technology in its supply chain. Last year, Walmart partnered with IBM to help improve food traceability by tracking food from farm to store using IBM's hyperledger fabric technology. As it stands, the initiative is used to trace the origin of dozens of projects from several suppliers, with plans to make this a mandatory requirement for all suppliers of fresh leafy greens.
More recently, Walmart once again teamed up with IBM to track shrimp imports between coastal India and its US warehouses, indicating the retail behemoth is looking to expand its food traceability push.