The Canadian division of Walmart has launched a blockchain-based supply chain that includes freight tracking and payment processing for 70 trucking companies whose goods are transported to more than 400 retail stores.

The system is now live and all of Walmart Canada‘s third-party freight carriers are scheduled to be on the network by Feb. 1, 2020, the company said in a statement. Walmart claims the blockchain network is the largest of its kind in the world, a claim not disputed by industry analysts.

For example, TradeLens is a blockchain-based supply chain launched by Maersk and IBM with more than 100 participants. Those participants include four of the world’s largest ocean carriers, three inland carriers and 61 ports around the globe. But for all its participants, it purportedly has only 14 blockchain distributed nodes.

Meanwhile, Cisco runs a track-and-trace system for hundreds of its suppliers worldwide, reportedly with 12 nodes.

Walmart’s new private blockchain, in contrast, has 27 distributed nodes, some of them on premise, others in the cloud – provided by a blockchain vendor.

“It probably is the largest,” said Avivah Litan, a Gartner vice president of research.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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