The University of Central Arkansas and Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services have joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the transportation industry. J.B. Hunt and UCA, as one of the first universities to become a member, are part of an organization with more than 200 members.
“Trucking is the focus of UCA’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management program and technology plays an increasingly important role in trucking operations,” said Doug Voss, associate professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. “Joining BiTA provides our faculty an opportunity to help create blockchain standards, educate our students about this important innovation and share what we learn with UCA’s industry stakeholders.”
Blockchain uses a distributed ledger to record transactions across multiple computers, and it cannot be altered retroactively without altering all subsequent records, or blocks of information, and the agreement of everyone in the blockchain network. Anyone with access can modify the ledger, like Wikipedia. But the modifier will be known, and the changes must be accepted by all parties involved in the blockchain network.
“Blockchain has potential to remove third parties from transactions and improve product traceability,” said Voss, who also serves on the Arkansas Trucking Association Board of Directors. “It could remove a great deal of waste from the supply chain. We are excited to participate in BiTA and help shape blockchain’s foundation in trucking.”
Founded in August 2017, BiTA is focused on providing education and forums to those in the industry interested in implementing the efficiencies of blockchain technology.
“Today’s students are the future leaders of the transportation and logistics industry, so being able to engage with the University of Central Arkansas through its membership in the Blockchain in Transport Alliance will ensure its students are fluent in the most transformative technology to come along in years,” said Chris Burruss, president of BiTA. “Just as importantly, BiTA members will benefit from the ability to connect with leading academics in the supply chain field in the shared exercise of information gathering and problem-solving. We welcome and look forward to collaborating with the University of Central Arkansas as BiTA works to develop blockchain standards for transportation.”
Recently, J.B. Hunt joined BiTA, and Craig Harper, the carrier’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, will serve on its board.
“I believe in the mission of BiTA and what it is doing to further dialogue and innovation in our space,” Harper said. “Our company’s continued focus on using technology to improve the supply chain aligns with BiTA’s mission of incorporating blockchain technology to enhance commercial operations. I am exiceted to participate and look forward to being an active member of the BiTA Standards Board.”
Also, blockchain will be the topic of a workshop hosted by the Arkansas Trucking Association’s Accounting and Finance Council at 10 a.m. March 6 in Little Rock. Attendees will hear from experts, including Burruss, on the basics of blockchain and find out why it will revolutionize transportation.