German software giant SAP SE said it has joined the "Blockchain in Trucking Alliance" (BiTA), an industry group created to guide the development of blockchain-based data-security software in the transportation industry.
SAP will work with other BiTA members to develop blockchain standards and education for the North American freight and transportation management market, the company said. Supporters of blockchain technology say it offers a reliable, difficult-to-hack record of transactions and proof of ownership. The system uses distributed ledger technology to securely record information across a peer-to-peer network, including assets such as land titles, loans, identities, logistics manifests, and nearly anything of value.
Membership in BiTA is SAP's latest effort to use its business heft to build market share in the logistics sector. It said in 2016 that it would invest $2.2 billion over five years to develop Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities for applications in supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing. The firm added a global track and trace offering in July to its "Leonardo" IoT platform designed to support shipment monitoring and reporting across supply chain networks.
Walldorf, Germany-based SAP also said this week that it had joined Spain's Alastria Consortium, a group that is working to strengthen Europe's blockchain network by uniting banks, telecom providers, energy companies, universities, smart-city organizations, and developers.
In addition to joining the two industry groups, SAP is working to develop blockchain applications by enlisting partners in its own blockchain co-innovation initiative, which includes companies from the logistics, retail, and consumer products industries as well as the telecom, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, high-tech, aerospace and defense, industrial machinery, energy and utilities, and public services sectors.
SAP said it would work with its partners on blockchain initiatives in the company's programs including: asset intelligence network, distributed manufacturing and three-dimensional (3D) printing network, transportation management system (TMS), global track and trace, and advanced track and trace for pharmaceuticals.