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Blockchain: Emerging Technology for Logistics, Supply Chain

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Dr. Bright P' Rayan, Head IT, ICTSI South Pacific

The modern world is constantly changing. Innovations are introduced into various fields of human activity, while orienting people to continuous development, improvement of their knowledge, skills, competencies, mastering new activities in related sectors of the economy. Routine work is increasingly transferred to machines requiring creativity, including the perspective of its logical integration in the current task.

Today, there is a revolutionary transition from informatization of the main fields of human activity to their digitalization. In fact, modernization of certain human activity with information and communication technologies, involves digital transformation of their qualitative transformation. A departure from usual types of activity to new, based on digital models and technologies.

One of the effective technologies among others providing conditions and technological mechanisms to form digital images on its platform as well as fix transactions is the Blockchain technology.

Blockchain is rapidly becoming part of the technology vernacular. The following high-level definition provides a quick introduction to the subject:

a)Simply put, blockchain is a distributed ledger providing a way for information to be recorded and shared by a community.

b)In this community, each member maintains his or her own copy of the information and all members must validate any updates collectively.

c)The information could be of transactions, contracts, assets, identities, or practically anything else described in digital form.

d)Entries are permanent, transparent, and searchable enabling community members to view transaction histories entirety.

e)Each update is a new ‘block’ added to the end of a ‘chain’.

f)A protocol manages how new edits or entries are initiated, validated, recorded, and distributed. With blockchain, cryptology replaces third-party intermediaries as the keeper of trust, with blockchain participants running complex algorithms to certify the integrity of the whole.

Blockchain technology has made significant strides in its development and widespread adoption in recent years, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. The possibilities of blockchain technology are truly endless, and developments in recent years have taken us one step closer to a decentralized, trustless internet, transparency of transactions, and more including logistics and supply chain industries more than fintech and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain developments are providing blockchain solutions for logistics, transportation, and supply chain, blockchain solutions can help reduce administration time and costs, accelerate transportation, and establish production-to-consumer supply chain visibility and verification.

Simplify logistics, gain data transparency, trace shipments back to their origins, protect information from unauthorized access with blockchain solutions with designed and integrated solutions with following use cases in logistics:

•Transparency in Transportation:
Transportation flows remain mostly shady procedures, with opaque, and thus hardly traceable records accompanying every step of product logistics with multiple segment Manufacturer, Warehouse and Distribution. With blockchain an immutable, tamper proof blockchain system establishes complete data transparency, with every data asset visible and self-maintainable across the entire transportation flow which included Order, Bills of Lading, Contracts and Shipping history with all dynamic updates and changes.

The possibilities of blockchain technology are truly endless, and developments in recent years have taken us one step closer to a decentralized, trustless internet, transparency of transactions, and more including logistics and supply chain industries more than fintech and cryptocurrencies


•AutomatedProcess
Presently the contractual relations between manufacturers and suppliers involve third parties that only add costs, friction, and delays to settlements. Since, financial initiations and lawyers were involved between Manufactures and Distributions, which create slowness and additional cost in the overall process.

With blockchain technology-enabled smart contracts, agreements become autonomous and self-executing once the agreement terms are met and swift process and most cost effective.

•Secured, Validated Data
Existing enterprise systems fail to provide complete authenticity of logistics data, often leaving recorded assets vulnerable to manipulation with Manufactures, Warehouse, Distribution and Retailer systems including Inventory Management (WMS), Order management(OMS) and Transport Management (TM).

With blockchain, the entire network can validate data through consensus, thus, minimizing fraud risks within the system with all levels of data nodes and consistent transactions.

Effeteness of Blockchain in Logistics
From origin to end consumer, the model recognizes the nature of the product “(what it is), the quality (how it is), the quantity (how much of it there is) and the ownership of the product (whose it is at any moment)”. These four key elements are accessible through datasets (barcodes) and placed on a blockchain to be shared in a secure environment. The reason for using blockchain is its ability to monitor and audit transactions of a product, and its unquestionable ability to authorize the given information.

Linking the digital world with the real one enables user facing, generating the ability to inspect products journey through the supply chain. This is made possible by the full audit ability and security of a blockchain. Information placed there is deemed trustworthy, granting users a sense of assurance in their purchasing decisions. In addition, a guarantee that the products are genuine might increase the desire to buy. Screening supplychain through blockchain is potentially done with smartphone applications scanning a tag to gain access to the information. By using conspicuous hologrammatic or RFID tag, a brand or company could guarantee products authenticity.

With many organizations undergoing huge digital transformations, awareness of the ongoing looming presence of cyberattacks continues to grow – not only for large organizations but also for small businesses. Now, Cybersecurity is nothing new but its trends definitely are!

Blockchain Cybersecurity is a more modular, responsive security approach by centralizing orchestration and distributing enforcement. It’s starting to dawn on companies that having an effective cybersecurity strategy is not just a luxury but an absolutely necessity.

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