Autonomous vehicles and Amazon may be the shipping industry's buzzwords today, but blockchain is well on its way to becoming the future.
United Parcel Service announced on Tuesday it has joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), the latest logistics company taking a closer look at the platform's offerings.
"The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders," Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, said in a statement.
UPS' foray into blockchain — a technology that the Chicago Fed defines as "a network of users, each of which stores its own copy of the data" — is not a surprise to investment group Stifel, however.
"In our view, blockchain will combine with the truckload pricing futures market, with data analytics-assisted [and] artificial intelligence-assisted real time matching of loads and empties," Stifel analyst John Larkin wrote in a note on Oct. 29.
Larkin said three companies will "invest enough in technology to drive the consolidation of the industry around these core transformational technologies:" UPS, C.H. Robinson Worldwide and XPO Logistics.