Blockchain in Transport Alliance announces logistics firm ArcBest as new member
BiTA is made up of more than 250 freight transport...
Logistics firm ArcBest has announced that it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).
BiTA is made up of more than 250 freight transportation companies and works to help develop and set standards for the use of blockchain technology within the logistics and transportation industry.
“At ArcBest, our customers are looking for logistics partners who can deliver a number of solutions along with trusted, expert advice and a great experience,” said Michael Newcity, senior vice president – Chief Innovation Officer of ArcBest and president of ArcBest Technologies.
“We believe blockchain technology could benefit the transportation industry by revolutionising the way people do business. We look forward to working with other industry leaders to ensure standards are established so that the full potential of this technology can be realised”
According to BiTA, blockchain technology could be used to enhance transparency within the supply chain, maintain accurate records of asset maintenance and ownership history, and secure freight payments and smart contracts, among other ideas.
Founded in August 2017, BiTA is a consortium of the foremost leaders in the transportation industry forging a path toward industry standards in blockchain use.
In a statement, BiTA said companies in the alliance share a unified mission of developing a framework of industry standards, educating the logistics market on blockchain applications and encouraging use of technology applications through exemplary implementation.
ArcBest is also partnering with the University of Arkansas' Sam M. Walton College of Business in supporting its blockchain research and education.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.