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The Blockchain: What it is and How it is Shaping the Logistics Industry

In a world of constant technological change, it’s evident that modernization has gradually influenced and transformed in most, if not all, industries. Logistics, which handles the planning, execution and control of resources from their point of origin to the point of consumption, is one of them. Because this sector in particular seeks to innovate and optimize such complex operations, many companies are currently investing in new technological tendencies in order to maximize productivity and operate more effectively throughout the whole supply chain process.

Within the vast number of technological innovations that have made their way into the supply chain industry, the blockchain in particular has caused an impact in the logistics and customs brokerage world. According to Jon-Amerin Vorabutra, “Blockchain is a distributed database that holds records of digital data or events in a way that makes them tamper-resistant” (Supply Chain 24/7). This technology is relatively new, starting in 2009 with Satoshi Nakamoto’s decentralized digital currency known as the Bitcoin. Making their debut in financial technology, blockchains started to make their way into other sectors including logistics. Considering all of the benefits that the blockchain has to offer, there are a few key points that breakdown this positive impact.

Because blockchains can be effectively traced through all processes, companies are able to maintain detailed information of a product’s cycle, which includes their supplier details and information regarding their manufacturing process. This helps ensure a more effective way of tracking and having better control of the company’s assets.

This technology is also transforming the supply chain industry by making it easier to determine if there’s potential fraud. By coding, tracking and securing products, it is easier to identify any attempt of manipulation or fraud in the system considering that such complex processes involve different steps and participants, such as shippers, carriers and regulators. This contributes to a more transparent shipping and delivery process.

Another advantage of integrating this technology into the supply chain processes is the amount of information and detail that it offers to costumers regarding their product’s journey and cycle. As Stephen O’Neal points, “Blockchain, being an immutable, decentralized, and cryptographically encrypted ledger, offers full transparency for an industry dealing with supply chains that tend to include numerous steps and hundreds of geographical locations and checkpoints” (Cointelegraph).

Due to the logistics’ impact on every country’s economy, it is essential for it to grow steady with the world’s technological evolution in order to offer a more transparent, efficient and safe flow of goods. The blockchain is only one part of the technological revolution that has contributed to the streamline of operations within the logistics and supply chain industry.

 

Sources:

Marr, B. (2018, March 23) How Blockchain Will Transform The Supply Chain And Logistics Industry. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/03/23/how-blockchain-will-transform-the-supply-chain-and-logistics-industry/#73eec5965fec

O’Neal, S. (2018, April 26) From Pork to Diamonds: How Blockchain is Making the Logistics Industry Transparent. Retrieved from: https://cointelegraph.com/news/from-pork-to-diamonds-how-blockchain-is-making-the-logistics-industry-transparent

Saunders, K. (2016, December 7) What is Blockchain and How is it Going to Benefit the Logistics Industry. Retrieved from: https://www.eft.com/logistics/what-blockchain-and-how-it-going-benefit-logistics-industry

Puzey, E. (2015, August 29) Technology’s Role in Improving the Supply Chain. Retrieved from: https://www.supplychain247.com/article/technologys_role_in_improving_the_supply_chain