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BNSF first Class I railroad to join Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA)

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) recently became the first Class I railroad to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA). BiTA comprises more than 200 freight transportation companies working to develop blockchain standards for the logistics industry and the supply chain as a whole.

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. We are excited to help drive those standards forward as a member of BiTA.

—Muru Murugappan, BNSF vice president of technology services and chief information officer

BNSF along with the other members of BiTA will work to define what data goes into the freight transportation blockchain, how that data is formatted, how the data is structured and in what cases blockchain would be used.

Blockchain functions as a distributed ledger, wherein all members of a particular blockchain have access to all the data within it. By housing information with each member, altering the information within a blockchain is difficult—requiring 51% of the blockchain’s participants to approve the change.

BiTA plans to publish its first standards this year. Among the issues it has on its slate are:

  • smart contracts;
  • freight payment;
  • asset maintenance and ownership history;
  • gray trailer pools; and
  • transparency and chain of custody of freight.

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.

—Craig Fuller, managing director, BiTA

BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles (52,304 km) of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages.

BiTA was formed by experienced tech and transportation executives to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry. BiTA’s goal is to bring together leading companies in the freight technology industries that have a vested interest in the development of blockchain technology.


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