Almost 100 people showed up. About 60 were BiTA members and 40 were nonmembers.
CarrierDirect sponsored the event and led off talking about how technology can improve the supply chain. Their interest in blockchain and technology in general and interoperability.
The enthusiasm was infectious. The event ran over the regularly scheduled time with an abundance of questions and interest in the talking points.
“BiTA is a great organization to partner with; we’re fortunate to co-host the first BiTA Meet-Up. The fact that we’re seeing competition for blockchain signals adoption which is why we had almost 100 attendees from shippers, 3PLs, carriers, tech companies and others,” said Peter Rentschler, CEO of CarrierDirect. “CarrierDirect’s mission is to modernize transportation. We believe that blockchain technology will enable a more efficient and profitable future for the ecosystem. Practical applications that prove ROI will drive adoption,” added Rentschler.
“The questions we heard at the event mirrors what our clients ask us: what is the ROI and when should I care about blockchain?”
In many respects those questions were addressed. “While most companies are in the exploratory phase of blockchain, we're starting to see more and more people taking action on blockchain.”
“Blockchain is most impactful when a network of people are participating,” said Rentschler. “While Carriers and 3PLs are exploring and investing in the technology, full scale adoption will likely take shippers and/or regulation unless a significant ROI can be identified.”
“While Blockchain is at highest value in a network of participants, there are opportunities to make short-term impact like document verification when freight changes hands or moves across borders,” said Rentschler. “It's hard to imagine a world in the near future where blockchain isn't a part of day to day business transaction.”
Others FreightWaves reached out to had similar reactions.
"The BiTA meetup was a great opportunity to connect with professionals across many different industries, from software companies to shippers. We are all learning more about how blockchain will play a role in our businesses as the technology progresses and it is helpful to have an organization like BiTA to provide guidance,” said Will Jenkins, co-founder and head of people development at MOLO Solutions.
“I was fortunate to be able to attend the first local BiTA meetup in its history,” said Scott Harper, CEO of boxbit. “The crowd validated BiTA’s intuition that Chicago would be a good place to start. We had a great sample of 3PLs, Carriers and Shippers, along with technology providers, and plenty of time to mingle and network. Our Carrier Direct hosts did a great job with the venue, the food, and the keynote presentation on the value of blockchain. Many thanks to the BiTA team for coming to Chicago and making a great evening possible.”
Brian Jenkins, BusinessBlock director of communications, said, “The BiTA Meet-Up provided a terrific opportunity to meet executives from a variety of logistics companies, all with a common interest: to make the flow of information in the shipping industry — and thereby the flow of goods — more efficient, more transparent and more reliable. The presentation from our hosts at Carrier Direct was informative and concise, allowing time for several questions and then more networking. Well done, BiTA organizers. The evening exceeded my expectations!”
“We’re excited to continue the series across the U.S.,” said Lincoln Duff, director of membership engagement of BiTA.