Blockchain is a relatively new technology, yet already its uses continue to pile up, introducing more and more world-changing solutions. Additionally to many other real-life use cases, blockchain has been particularly valuable in supply chain management.
Below are ten blockchain supply chain use cases that are increasing revenue and cutting costs for businesses around the globe.
Blockchain to Streamline Oil Supply Chain
Companies: ADNOC and IBM
Project status: pilot program just completed; the blockchain is still in its early stages.
Sources: ADNOC, IBM, ADNOC press release
United Arab Emirate’s state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in collaboration with IBM successfully launched a blockchain supply chain system pilot program. The idea is to track oil from well to customers, while simultaneously automating transactions along the way.
While still in its early stages, ADNOC hopes to eventually expand the chain to include customers and investors, making its business more transparent in the process. ADNOC produces about 3 million barrels of oil a day, and by fully implementing blockchain technology, they will be able to keep track of all oil produced, reducing the time and costs associated with shipping.
Blockchain for Diamond Tracking
Company: De Beers
Project status: After completing a successful pilot, De Beers is currently working with other diamond producers, retailers, and banks to develop the best governance setup for the platform.
Sources: Tracr, De Beers press release
Blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, are those that have been mined under violent circumstances or in unsuitable conditions. They are heavily produced in Africa, and their sales are often used to fund various conflicts in the region. The world’s largest diamond producer, De Beers, has taken the steps to end the sale of blood diamonds by announcing its first successful blockchain supply chain program.
Through its program, Tracr, De Beers was able to track 100 diamonds from mine to cutter and polisher, then finally to jeweler. Photos of a diamond’s progress can be uploaded to the blockchain, as well as information concerning its color, quality, and location. Tracr not only gives customers peace of mind, but if applied to all diamonds, could stop the production of blood diamonds altogether.
Blockchain for Food Safety
Companies: Walmart, JD.com, IBM, Tsinghua University
Project status: A pilot program was completed in 2017, and Walmart announced that it will require suppliers of its romaine and other leafy greens to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019.
Sources: Walmart video presentation, IBM press release, Tsinghua University, JD.com, Forbes
It seems like there is a new E.coli outbreak every year. As it takes time to locate the origin of an outbreak, many retailers are often forced to throw out their entire inventories of produce. These four entities hope to increase food transparency and shipment efficiency with blockchain technology. The efforts are divided into two sections: Walmart and JD.com handle production and shipment of produce, while IBM and Tsinghua University handle the research and maintaining the blockchain. Unilever, Kroger, Nestle, and Tyson Foods all plan to collaborate as the project advances, with more food corporations to join along the way.
Secure Blockhain Logistics Solution by Louis Dreyfus Company
Company: Louis Dreyfus Co.
Project status: The company successfully completed their pilot program and has since gone on to implement blockchain for traceability purposes.
Sources: LDC, press release on the newer blockchain supply chain examples
One of the world’s largest food traders, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), in conjunction with Dutch and French banks, performed the first blockchain-based agricultural commodity trade, through the sale of a cargo of U.S. soybeans to a retailer based in China. The project was deemed successful, as it cut costs and significantly reduced transaction and document processing times.
Bringing Blockchain to the Fashion Sector with Martine Jarlgaard
Companies: Provenance in collaboration with Martine Jarlgaard
Project status: Provenance has expanded their services and currently conducts various case studies on further integration of blockchain technology into the fashion industry.
Sources: Martine Jarlgaard
Provenance in collaboration with designer, Martine Jarlgaard, is advocating for more transparency in the fashion industry. Their first ever garment tracked with blockchain was presented at a Danish fashion show in 2017. The goal is to track every aspect of a garment’s life through all the development phases. With more transparency, consumers will always know the clothing they purchase is legitimate and that it was produced in factories providing acceptable working conditions.
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Blockchain and Supply Chain: The Future
The supply chain ecosystem is one of the best examples of how blockchain can transform the way we do business, and improve the quantity, quality, and access to information at every step of the way.
TagItSmart Safeguards Wine Supplies with a Blockchain Logistics Tool
Companies: Origintrail and TagItSmart
Project status: Origintrail has expanded its blockchain supply chain use cases by implementing the same technology in other industries.
Sources: Origintrail press release, TagItSmart
It is estimated that nearly 30,000 bottles of illegitimate wine are sold every hour in China. Many of these wines are mixed with a variety of dangerous additives that can be detrimental to health. Origintrail in conjunction with TagItSmart conducted the first phase of their pilot program, which tracked more than 15,000 unique wine bottles. The eventual goal is to put an end to illegitimate wine using blockchain transparency capabilities. By a simple scan of a QR code which will be placed on each bottle, consumers will be able to know every detail regarding their purchase.
Kahawa 1893 and Bext 360 Provide Blockchain for Logistics
Companies: Kahawa 1893 and Bext 360
Project status: Ongoing
Sources: Kahawa 1893, Bext 360
Kahawa 1893 is a direct trade coffee company, which utilizes the services of Bext 360, to ensure economic equality for women in its production chain. Kenyan coffee is considered to be some of the best in the world, but its business practices are lagging. Through blockchain, Kahawa 1893 is opening the industry for women in the region. Bext 360’s blockchain tracks production, establishes environmental goals and facilitates payments for women coffee producers in Kenya.
Blockchain Solution for Supply Chain by BanQu and Anheuser-Busch InBev
Companies: BanQu, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Project status: Ongoing
Source: BanQu website
Cassava is a crop produced in Zambia for beer production. BanQu partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev and piloted the first case study connecting 2,000 Zambian cassava farmers to a blockchain. The purpose of the blockchain is to provide more economic power to small cassava producers in Zambia. The blockchain allows smaller lower economic farmers to compete on a larger scale, by tracking the lifespan of their crops.
Blockchain Logistics Advancements
Companies: Kuehne & Nagel and VeChain
Project status: Ongoing. Additionally, VeChain utilizes blockchain in a variety of ways across multiple industries.
Sources: K&G, VeChain, Trustnodes article
Kuehne & Nagel (K&G) is the biggest global sea freight forwarder in the world, which employs 76,000 people and has over $20 billion in revenue. Partnered with VeChain, K&G allows customers to track their parcels in real time.
Blockchain Supply Chain Use Cases by Origintrail
Companies: Origintrail, Source Certain International, Hoan Vu
Project status: A pilot has already been conducted, and Origintrail continues to work on the further blockchain implementation.
Sources: Origintrail, Source Certain International, Hoan Vu, Origintrail press release
By working with Source Certain Int. and Hoan Vu laboratories, Origintrail is using blockchain for tracking food supply chain similar to Walmart but on a deeper and more expansive level. The two laboratories conduct 800 forensic and chemical tests on products, then upload their findings to Origintrail’s blockchain. Additionally, tests are also conducted on a farm’s soil and air, working to ensure their quality. If implemented throughout all industries, this use of blockchain not only would be able to ensure safety of food, but its quality as well.
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