Bourque Logistics announced its first blockchain project to explore the application of this shared digital ledger for its rail shipper clients.

Called RAILChain, it also involves consignees, railroads, lessors and repair shops.

Using digitized shipping file formats, RAILChain will allow shipping parties to securely exchange bill of lading information, as well as settle freight, repair and lease costs using smart contract technology, according to the Woodlands, Texas-based company.

Several Bourque shipper clients expressed interest in blockchain technology due to the prospect of efficient and secure distribution of rail shipment status and cost information.

These shippers will be the first participants in a proof of concept that will provide shared and secure visibility of the rail supply chain.

RAILChain will be initially developed using the Ethereum platform with an eye toward interoperability with other platforms as blockchain technology continues to evolve.