DHL and HP blockchain JV seeks supply chain savings through automation

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DHL Global Forwarding has revealed details concerning its blockchain joint-venture with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which it is using to automate its administrative and shipment payment processing.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)  has been live since 1 July and links multiple entities of HPE and DHL Global Forwarding for one-off order management. It also eliminates post –delivery checks for shipment approval, a time-saver for both parties.

One-offs are defined as requests for shipments that can be supported by the DHL network, but that are not part of the standard contract. It offers a more robust alternative to back-end processes which can be more prone to errors and are time consuming.

DHL said it believed blockchain has significant potential in this area and, by deploying a solution in conjunction with an un-named major customer, it intends to take a leading position in the application of this technology.

Eugenius Otte, head of product management at DHL Global Forwarding, Netherlands, said: “Blockchain and other innovative technologies can be seen as key differentiators in removing significant layers of complexity from global supply chains.”

The MVP addresses some of the pain points in the approval process by making use of the inherent functionality of a distributed ledger. It simplifies the approval process and clearly identifies the shipment quotes that are approved (by whom, and when) – all in immutable records.

Kim Masone, vice-president of global logistics at HPE, said: “Based on the initial results, HPE has observed a number of inherent benefits, including 100 per cent invoice accuracy and paid on agreed terms, less days payment ageing, and little to no manual intervention.”

By Michelle Mooney

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