Walmart Canada Integrates Blockchain into Supply Chain

The new solution can track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments and reconciliation.

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Need to Know

  • Walmart Canada has established new collaboration and information sharing practices with third-party trucking companies that transport inventory for the large retailer.
  • The collaboration, powered by DLT Labs, marks the world’s largest full production blockchain solution for any industrial application.
  • Walmart Canada and its carriers currently deliver inventory to over 400 retail stores across Canada, annually.

Analysis

Walmart Canada has partnered with Toronto-based blockchain startup DLT Labs to build a full-production blockchain solution and lean on the technology to enhance the supply chain.

Using distributed ledger technology, the blockchain-based freight and payment network will track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments and reconciliation among Walmart Canada and its carriers.

The new blockchain-based payment and freight system will provide accurate, real-time data, reduce administration costs and improve collective resource utilization allowing for the minimization of manual effort and increased accuracy. Both companies boast this is ‘the first’ practical implementation of blockchain tech at scale. 

“Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data. This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners,” said John Bayliss, SVP of logistics and supply chain for Walmart Canada. Adding, “Walmart Canada is dedicated to efficiency across our business, including most importantly in our supply chain and logistics management.”

Fulfillment improvement is the latest in a string of developments in Walmart’s continued experimentation and enhancement of the customer experience. Last month the retail giant partnered with Digimarc, integrating mobile technology into their print catalog with ‘Scan & Shop’ codes. 

Walmart Canada’s distribution centers are hives of activity, packed with more than 4,500 associates and drivers moving thousands of items daily from sites located across Canada. Walmart Canada operates 8.75 million square feet of distribution center and moves more than 853 million cases of merchandise annually. The goods are transported by 180 tractors, 2,000 trailers, and more than 350 drivers. Each trailer is tracking over 200 data points per shipment.

Using DLT Labs’ blockchain technology to automate and manage this data collection results in significant cost-savings and greatly reduces the company’s environmental impact. 

In addition to Walmart other big-box retailers have begun utilizing blockchain to help manage their supply chain and fulfillment. Home Depot and Target have both developed their own blockchain projects. Walmart has even previously dabbled with blockchain, working with IBM to improve its food safety measures. 

All Walmart Canada’s third-party carriers are scheduled to be live by February 1, 2020. The solution is accessible using a web portal and an easy to use mobile application. 

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