BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), the second largest freight railroad network in North America, has become a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an association which is comprised of 200-plus freight and logistics companies that are interested in incorporating distributed ledger technology into their industry.
BNSF, a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe — which is wholly-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway — will work together with BiTA members to help create a framework for the distributed ledger technology in the context of the logistics industry.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to change several aspects of the transportation industry and it is important that the industry comes together to align around a set of standards,” said Muru Murugappan, BNSF’s VP of technology services and CIO. “We are excited to help drive those standards forward as a member of BiTA,” he added.
As a BiTA member, BNSF will contribute to the way blockchain is implemented in the transportation field and help establish how data is formatted, structured and applied. The alliance also aims to support vehicle maintenance, fraud prevention, and quality control in the freight industry.
BNSF is the first of the seven North American Class I railroads to join BiTA. The company has 44,000 employees and operates 52,300 km (32,500 miles) of track in 28 US states. With over 8,000 locomotives, BNSF transports consumer goods, agricultural products, housing materials, petroleum, chemicals, food and beverages, and other industrial goods.
BiTA’s managing director Craig Fuller stated that “BNSF is one of the most important members of the North American transportation network, providing the backbone of American commerce. Their embracement of technology standards for the future of the industry will have a profound impact on the future of customer supply chains.”
Earlier this month, BiTA announced that China’s JD.com, a retailer giant, also became a member of the alliance.
The US delivery services giant FedEx became a BiTA member last year, and in mid-December, it announced its plans to adopt blockchain as part of its IT innovation strategy.
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