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Today’s Pickup: FEMA report suggests blockchain for disaster, insurance claims

Good day,

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should pilot the use of blockchain technology to speed up the payouts of disaster assistance or insurance claims, an advisory board said in a report.

FEMA’s National Advisory Council recommendation appeared in a draft report released on Nov. 18. The report suggested the creation of a pilot blockchain-based registry that could contain vital information such as property ownership records and policy documents, which otherwise could be lost in disasters.”

“By piloting a blockchain-based registry in this manner, FEMA can catalyze cross-sector engagement and develop technology-enabled use cases that can improve the speed of disaster responses and insurance claim payments, without sacrificing accuracy or increasing the risk of fraud.”

While the proposed blockchain pilot wouldn’t have a direct implication on FEMA’s disaster logistics and its partners in the transportation industry, it could pave for their adoption down the road. 

Did you know?

North American plastic resin production reached nearly 120 billion pounds in 2018, according to the American Chemistry Council Plastics Industry Producers Statistics Group. Rising resin exports are also fuelling the growth of container-on-barge services. 


“Toronto is brutal. I hope CN and the union rectify this soon.”

— Corey Darbyson, director of Canadian trucking company Transport Dsquare, discussing the freight disruption from the ongoing strike by more than 3,000 Canadian National rail employees. 

In other news:

Connecticut lawmakers propose truck toll for transport funding  

Democrats in Connecticut’s House of Representatives have proposed a trucks-only toll to help fund billions of dollars in transport and infrastructure investments. (Transport Topics)

Freightliner introducing Cascadias for Australia

Daimer’s Freightliner plans to begin selling its Cascadia trucks in Australia. (Auto Evolution)

Bolloré unveils innovation center in Singapore 

Bolloré Logistics has opened an innovation center in Singapore, which will look for ways to incorporate automation into supply chain operations. (STAT Trade Times)

Budapest Airport opens Cargo City to lure air freight

A €50 million Cargo City will be a “game-changer” Budapest Airport’s air freight operations. (The Load Star)

Trucker pleads not guilty in Colorado crash that killed four

A Texas truck driver pleaded not guilty to multiple charges stemming from a Colorado crash that killed four people. (Colorado Public Radio)

Final thoughts:

FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller made a case for FEMA employing blockchain technology back in 2017, highlighting a range of uses, from securing vital data like property records to smart contracts that scale based on need.

“Imagine a world where FEMA implemented a blockchain smart contract that paid out when a hurricane hit and accelerates the amount of money based on the size of the storm itself,” Fuller wrote. “Once the hurricane makes landfall, the smart contract would automate payment to the state and municipal governments to accelerate the process of providing relief supplies. 

Fuller, who ran disaster relief logistics for U.S. Xpress (NYSE: USX), also noted that blockchain could improve speed and visibility for FEMA contractor payments.

Hammer down everyone!

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