Walmart builds blockchain solution to automate payments of its carriers in Canada

Retail giant Walmart’s Canada unit has developed a blockchain solution to track deliveries, verify transactions and automate payments of its carriers, which deliver inventory to its over 400 retail stores across Canada annually.

The solution, dubbed blockchain-based freight and payment network, has been built in an association with blockchain startup DLT Labs, according to an announcement Thursday.

The solution, accessible via web and mobile app, is scheduled to go live by Feb. 1, 2020, for Walmart Canada's all third-party carriers. It synchronizes all the supply chain and logistics data in “real time” and aggregates it on a shared ledger between Walmart Canada and its carriers. Overall, the solution is aimed at improving operations and reducing costs.

“Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data. Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings and other benefits among our supply chain,” said John Bayliss, senior vice president of logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada.

More than 4,500 associates and drivers move thousands of items daily from Walmart Canada's distribution centers to its stores; while annually, they move 853 million cases of merchandise, per the announcement, which adds: “Automating this data collection and management using blockchain results in a significant cost-saving."

Walmart has been working on a number of blockchain initiatives across its subsidiaries. In June, Walmart China built a blockchain solution to trace produce, ranging from fresh meat to rice to mushrooms. It enables shoppers to know products' origin, logistics process and inspection record, among other information.