Blockchain in Logistics – A Complete Guide for 2020
Blockchain technology gives the ability to track and record every transaction between parties.
Many companies are now using blockchain technology to disrupt the landscape of logistics and supply chain management.
Amazon, Walmart, Unilever, Nestlé, Dole, Alibaba are some of the front-runners of Blockchain in Logistics and Supply Chain.
Blockchain can improve the transparency and efficiency of supply chains by preventing inaccuracies and fraud.
It can also cut the paperwork and reduce expenses.
Six potential ways where Blockchain in Logistics can boost the business
1. Improved Efficiency
Blockchain in Logistics can transform the way freight and shipping are done.
Blockchain technology can improve the delivery process by emerging and taking advantage of cargo companies.
With effective tracking of goods, logistics businesses can significantly boost their productivity.
To illustrate, Maersk and IBM are planning to work together to revolutionize blockchain into the mainstream logistics business to improve global trade.
Maersk is the largest container shipping company.
Maersk along with the US Department of Homeland Security and Dutch Customs has been implementing the efficient blockchain cargo tracking system across all international borders.
2. Immutable Tracking and Security
Blockchain allows efficient tracking of the changes and it tracks and records everything and it enables what is changed, why, who made the changes, and when.
Smart contracts help in exchanging in the products and after it gets exchanged the get gets reflected in the public ledger.
The hash function is the key feature that improves security and transparency.
It’s like a mathematical fingerprint: every hash is unique.
When someone makes any change, the mixture will show this.
The data is stored along with the information on who made it and when, and it’s highly challenging to tamper this data.
The individuals that have access to this ledger can track the goods and the information about who is currently having the products.
You can even share this information with your customers to increase transparency.
3. Facilitate food tracking
If faced with a foodborne disease outbreak, retailers have a hard time figuring out where the bad ingredients came from and to which stores they were delivered (Tian 2016).
To facilitate origin tracking for food items, Walmart partnered with IBM in 2016.
Like with Maersk,
Blockchain is used to augment the supply chain partners’ existing IT systems through a transparent, superordinate ledger, tracking the movements of food items.
This shared forum is considered a substantial improvement over Walmart’s earlier trials involving barcodes or auto-ID technology – solutions that required central databases and trust between the participants (Hackett 2016).
Walmart and IBM digitally tracked both domestic movements – pork from small Chinese farms to Chinese stores and international movements produced from Latin America to stores in the United States (Popper & Lohr 2017).
In these pilots, data like the farm origin, batch numbers, factory and processing data, expiration dates, and shipping details were written on the Blockchain and instantly became available to all network members.
With a foodborne disease outbreak, this data enables Walmart to track down the origin in a matter of seconds.
During the year, further pilots with more data attributes are scheduled.
Ultimately, Walmart believes Blockchain could also reduce food waste if the newly available data on shelf life is used as a parameter for supply chain optimization.
4. Automated Smart Contracts and Payments
The digital, self-executing contracts on the blockchain allow you to settle the transactions instantly.
These digital smart contracts are programmed with all the necessary information, including funds and other information like notes, etc.
You can automate the transactions throughout the supply chain.
For example, the digital smart contract would release a certain amount of funds after the verification of the documents showing the shipment of the goods.
The party will be automatically paid once it provides the necessary documents that show custody of the goods has changed.
You don’t need to manually release the now and then as the product goes through the supply chain.
5. Easy integration with IOT
The Internet of Things (IoT) means everyday objects essentially everything with a plug gets equipped with electronics and can exchange data over the internet.
A Gartner report estimates there will be over 20 billion connected things by 2020 (Gartner 2015).
Blockchain can be easily integrated with other technologies to get even better results.
You can incorporate blockchain with IoT tracking technology to get accurate data about every step in the shipping process.
For example, if your customer receives a damaged product, then you can check when and where the damage happens and which driver is responsible for it.
The IoT system can collect data from the sensors installed on the vehicle, and blockchain tracking can show the person handling the product at that time.
On the other hand, tracking of food items for their safety and quality can also be done using blockchain.
Walmart is working with IBM to build a food safety blockchain system to digitize the food supply chain process.
6. Minimizes fraud and Theft
Cargo frauds and thefts cost a whopping $30 billion per year in the US alone.
The exact amount can be much higher as many cargo crimes go unreported.
The Blockchain in Logistics system can include detailed rules to access the goods, such as requiring government-approved photo IDs for pickup or delivery.
This improves security and reduces cargo fraud and theft issues.
The Blockchain in Logistics also enables the secure transfer of titles for smart properties.
7. Monitoring the performance history
Blockchain in Logistics enables you to monitor the performance history of the carriers and suppliers.
You can even check the performance of individual vehicles such as trucks within the fleet.
Blockchain records the past performance of specific carriers, including on-time pickups, on-time deliveries, and so on.
This data helps you to make better decisions while onboarding the carriers and ultimately improve the supply line.
Cryptic Ocean is a blockchain technology company that provides end-to-end blockchain development and blockchain consulting services to multiple business domains.
Our goal is to help companies adopt new technologies and simplify complicated issues that arise during technology evolution.
Contact us for the best solutions about the use of blockchain technology to solve the toughest challenges faced by the world today.
What is Blockchain technology in shipping?
Blockchain technology has contributed to the shipping sector in a big way.
Companies are looking way ahead to make information spread across the business industry easily and smoothly.
What could Blockchain be used for?
Blockchain holds the ability to secure data in a transparent and more efficient manner.
It is the perfect ledger technology to ease out shipment tracking, global contracts, and payment processing throughout the logistics industry.
What is Blockchain in procurement?
Blockchain is a decentralized structure that records all the transactions in a network without the involvement of a third party or an intermediary.
The blockchain is a safe method that requires no trust, and the procurement industry can smoothly run its transaction on it.
How Blockchain is Changing the Logistics Industry?
Blockchain technology is bringing innovation in the logistics sector.
It enables smart contracts for the buying process, saving time and costs.
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