As the logistics industry continues to grow larger and more complex, we may see supply chain processes come to rely on the power of blockchain technology.
Blockchain and Logistics Applications
- Compile data on shipping container movements
- Determine faster supply chain routes for future trips
- Remove middlemen and other unnecessary steps
- Reduce bottlenecks and clerical errors via smart contracts
- Produce contracts that are transparent and hold all parties accountable
The increase in connections and trade routes may have spelled trouble for shipping companies and retailers in the past, but blockchain has largely addressed inefficient practices, cyber attacks, food spoilage and other issues. Distributed and decentralized public ledgers reduce bottlenecks and clerical errors. In addition, they provide companies with data for tracking the movements of shipping containers, pinpointing time-wasting steps and planning simplified routes for the future.
Using smart contracts, retailers no longer need brokerages, lawyers or other third parties to complete tasks. Smart contracts then enable retailers and logistics companies to enter binding agreements that will immediately dissolve if all agreed-upon stipulations aren’t met, increasing transparency and profits while decreasing delivery time and costly errors.
The logistics field is primed for a technological upgrade, and a distributed ledger is the next big thing thanks to its transparent recordings, reduced costs and efficient route information.
Here are 19 examples of companies using blockchain’s supply chain and logistics capabilities.
Blockchain for Logistics Efficiency
Location: New York, New York
Accenture partners with companies like Mastercard and Amazon Web Services to execute its circular supply chain program. Businesses can verify identities with facial recognition features, complete quicker payments and trace transactions along supply chains with blockchain technology. It then becomes easier for logistics organizations to deliver more consistent and uninterrupted service.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Slync.io combines blockchain and AI to give retailers, manufacturers and suppliers real-time insights into all of their local and global shipments. The platform allows shippers to automate monotonous workflows, predict bottlenecks or challenges in a logistics process and even get a real-time overview of shipment activity.
Location: San Francisco, California
Chronicled combines blockchain with AI and IoT devices to automate traceability and instantaneously approve financial transactions in the shipping industry. Chronicled’s blockchain-enabled IoT devices give logistics companies better insights into environmental conditions and transfer-of-custody processes. As a result, businesses can securely and efficiently move their products all over the world.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Koopman Logistics is an automotive transportation company that uses blockchain to ship cars all over the world. By employing the ledger technology, it reduces paper supply, quickens the payment process and makes the shipping process more secure. In April 2018, Koopman became the world’s first automotive logistics company to deliver a vehicle via a completely paperless blockchain process.
Blockchain for Logistics Tracking
Location: Redmond, Washington
Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure simplifies logistics tasks with blockchain technology. Azure’s blockchain features can track items along supply chains, which helps groups like pharmaceutical and perishable food companies follow compliance standards. The platform also builds decentralized networks between financial institutions, facilitating faster transactions.
Location: Austin, Texas
Oracle offers a streamlined blockchain experience with its SaaS solution Intelligent Track and Trace. The supply chain application records data from multiple sources and tracks shipments from start to finish, providing a comprehensive view of logistics processes. With the ability to check the status of products at any point, businesses can find ways to speed up their operations and reduce costs.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
CargoLedger builds blockchain-based software for the logistics industry. Primarily focused on reducing physical and time waste, the company has implemented personalized blockchain technologies into all aspects of the logistics process. Customers can conduct paperless orders, gain real-time insights into traveling cargo and access documents via a mobile app.
Smart Contracts for Logistics Transparency
Location: Armonk, New York
To instill more confidence in supply chain data, IBM equips supply chain networks with blockchain technology. The IBM Blockchain initiative applies distributed ledgers to define company-specific rules, create smart contracts and develop immutable records of data. As a result, organizations can secure their information while providing approved individuals with a holistic picture of their data.
Location: Newport Beach, California
MuleChain is a decentralized P2P personal delivery network. Using blockchain-based smart contracts, shippers enter into agreements with “mules” who are headed to the same destination. Once the parties hash out a price, mules personally deliver the shippers’ items. All involved put up MCX tokens as collateral. Once shipping is complete, mules receive the tokens as payment.
Location: Sunrise, Florida
The dexFreight platform features an industry-first, blockchain-backed P2P marketplace for shipping and hauling. It includes everything from encrypted identity management to smart contracts and tokenized payments, all of which help to reduce friction and increase transparency in the P2P supply chain market.
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) was created as a forum for the logistics industry to discuss and develop plans for implementing ledger technology in shipping. The alliance works on common standards and practices for the industry while attempting to educate professionals on the benefits of blockchain. Logistics behemoths like UPS, FedEx, Uber Freight, Union Pacific Railroad and project44 are just a handful of BiTA’s member companies.
Blockchain for Logistics Transactions
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Sweetbridge focuses on liquidity and flexibility in the supply chain. The company uses blockchain to help free up billions of dollars that are currently in limbo over payment disputes. With real-time auditing ledgers, smart contracts and Sweetbridge’s own crypto, Sweetcoin, payment disputes can be settled in seconds rather than days or weeks.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
OpenPort’s blockchain is designed to modernize cash flow issues that often arise in the traditional logistics process. The company’s digital ePOD (electronic proof-of-delivery) provides indisputable evidence of cash flow as well as a digital contract that enforces payments to all parties involved in the shipping process. Clients can also track their shipments in real time through mobile app and web formats.
Location: Hong Kong, China
300cubits’ tokens are cryptocurrency for the logistics world. By locking into smart contracts and using the company’s TEU tokens, retailers ensure that they will provide a certain quantity of products to ship, and shipping companies set deadlines and quality standards for their shipping processes. The TEU tokens bring an element of trust to a sometimes trust-less process.
Blockchain for Logistics Security
Location: Palo Alto, California
Guardtime’s blockchain for maritime logistics aims to correct industry issues stemming from inefficiency as well as lack of trust and transparency. The company’s ledger uses smart encrypted contracts and decentralized shipping tracking to quickly verify data in a way that protects it from cyber attacks and manipulation. And because blockchain is only applied in a software-based capacity, Guardtime avoids many of the pitfalls of earlier blockchain approaches.
Location: Mountain View, California
Skuchain creates a variety of ledger technologies for the logistics industry. The company’s Popcodes (Proof-of-Provenance codes) provide track-and-trace technology for valuable items in a shipment. The Zero Knowledge Collaboration tool gives companies permissioned access to data and details about other supply chain parties in order to increase the overall level of trust.
Location: San Leandro, California
SyncFab focuses on the manufacturing supply chain. Its platform lets users access real-time product manufacturing quotes, lock into detail-oriented deals with factories and shippers via smart contracts and even track the product creation process. The company’s services have been used by Amazon, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Google, among many others.
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
SkyCell’s shipping containers are designed specifically for the pharmaceutical industry, made of recycled materials and contain temperature barriers to protect the most sensitive medicines. SkyCell simplifies operations and prevents theft with its SECURE platform, and these capabilities have only been amplified since the company moved its entire infrastructure to a decentralized blockchain platform.
Location: London, England
Provenance uses blockchain to increase transparency in the retail industry. In order to give consumers a better idea of its business practices, Provenance encourages retailers to document the origination of their products and showcase their supply chains on a ledger. Provenance’s goal in using blockchain is to hold retailers accountable while helping members make higher-quality, more trustable products.