Blockchain and Supply Chain Management | Blockchain Expo

By: Rebecca Clinton-Floyed

4, December, 2019


Blockchain -


Blockchain and supply chain management

Supply chain has always been an intricate process that involves several challenges ranging from late payments between manufacturers and suppliers, extra expenses and delays in contractual agreements, meeting consumer expectations on time, involving more routes to the market, tracing products and parts, etc. There are just too many uncertainties in the supply chain that hinders the smooth flow of operations. Blockchain can solve all these problems.

Blockchain empowers organisations to gain real-time digital ledger of transactions and movements for all parties in their supply chain system. Implementing the blockchain technology help companies save time, money, and effort on different levels and has the potential to transform the overall business. There are some supply chains that are already using blockchain and industry experts believe that the technology will soon become a worldwide supply chain operating system.

Let’s look at some of the examples of blockchain that are being used in supply chains at the moment.

For a supply chain that has reach overseas can be benefitted by blockchain, as the technology is used for transferring funds across the world without the need of a traditional bank. This is how Tomcar, an Australian vehicle manufacturer, pays its suppliers through Bitcoin. Three partners in Taiwan and Israel accept payment from the company using the cryptocurrency.

In the food and beverage industry, it is very important to have records to trace each product to its source, which is why retail giant Walmart uses blockchain to keep track of the pork it sources from China. Companies like Unilever, Nestle, Tyson and Dole also use blockchain for similar purposes.

Furthermore, food and pharmaceutical products also have specialised storage needs and enterprise see the value in sharing warehouses and distribution centres rather than each one paying for its own. Sensors on sensitive products can record temperature, humidity, vibration, and other environmental conditions – these readings can be stored on a blockchain, which helps every involved member in the supply chain to keep a check on the storage condition. Any problem can trigger a response to correct the situation.

The transparency of the technology is also important for the consumers to know that they are supporting companies that share the same values of environmental stewardship and sustainable manufacturing as them. This is what the project Provenance is all about. The London-based start-up’s platform combines the power of blockchain, mobile, and social to allow companies to show consumers the entire journey a product goes through, allowing the customers to contribute and verify information at the same time.

Over 200 retailers and producers signed up to the Provenance platform in food, beverages and fashion industry.

Diamond company De Beers also uses blockchain to keep a track of stones right from the mine to the point when they are sold to the customers, who are assured of the fact that the diamonds they are buying are clean and are no ‘conflict’ or ‘blood diamonds’.

In mining, Australia’s BHP Billiton uses Ethereum blockchain keep track and record details throughout the mining process with its vendors. This helps the company to secure the real-time data that is generated during its delivery.

Conclusion: Many supply chain start-ups like Cloud Logistics provide blockchain-enabled supply chain solutions to improve efficiencies and reduce costs for the extensive supply chain industry. In the coming days, more such blockchain-based start-ups will emerge that will speed up the transformation process in the supply chain and logistics industry.


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