Blockchain is one of the most versatile technologies that has been released in this lifetime. This type of technology can be used for a variety of applications in a wide range of industries. Although it has been very popular in the finance industry by fuelling the rise of cryptocurrency, blockchain has also made huge strides in other industries as well.
One of the affected industries is the supply chain industry. Using blockchain alongside a global supply chain localization system can help these departments greatly. Here is how blockchain technology is helping packagers improve the supply chain industry:
How can the distributed ledger system be used in packaging?
Using blockchain in the supply chain industry can be considered as something hard to implement or impractical. The truth is, this can be done and although the initial setup might require some effort, its results, in the long run, are well worth it.
If you are wondering how blockchain can be used effectively in packaging goods that need to be shipped, the answer is by using a distributed ledger system. Using a distributed ledger system can help all stakeholders gain access to information in real-time. Every process is transparent so it contributes to the traceability of the items.
Improving transparency using blockchain
Every block of information added to the distributed ledger system becomes instantly available to every involved party. That improves the transparency of traceability using blockchain systems. The blockchain systems use reference numbers, barcodes, or QR codes that are stuck on the packaging.
Afterward, the shipping details of the entire shipment can be accessed in real-time. The shipping company can also add real-time updates on the status of the goods. As a result, throughout the entire shipping route. That helps the packaging of items become easily traceable and every step is transparent to all parties.
Streamlining shipping correspondence
Normal supply chain models use a long paper trail that details every phase that is involved. Managing this paper trail and auditing it can prove to be very difficult. For example, the correspondence that was involved in a shipment from Mombasa to Europe involved around 200 communications.
Since so much paperwork was involved in one shipment, one might wonder how this can be streamlined. Using blockchain can help reduce the number of shipping correspondence used to complete a single shipment. By using blockchain-powered packaging labels, all correspondence will be stored in the distributed ledger.
How IBM and Maersk use this technology?
IBM and Maersk specialize in cross-border shipments and these experienced companies well understand the implications of normal supply chain systems. To simplify their cross-border seaborne shipments, these companies, as well as other four enterprises, started using a distributed ledger system.
That has improved efficiency to a great extent and to make this system possible, packaging played a huge role in making shipments easier to track. The paper-trail becomes easier to track and the forwarding company or individual, as well as the receiver, can get real-time insights on the status of their shipment.
Walmart blockchain implementation
Walmart has started implementing a blockchain-powered solution that will help track the origin and routes used by their suppliers. The company has piloted this system in tracing pork imported from China and sourced within the United States.
This implemented strategy has proved to have great results, such as authentication transactions as well as improving record-keeping processes. Obviously, this application involved packaging labels that made all of this possible. Tracking packaged shipments is much better when a QR code will direct you to all of the correspondence and documents shared between the parties.
How is start-up Provenance is tracking food shipments?
The U.K has welcomed the development by Provenance, a leading software company that aims to bring transparency in sourcing products with the help of blockchain. It proposes a blockchain system that will be used in tracking food shipments into the country. This company has raised about $800,000 to put this system into effect, which will affect packaging departments in the supply chain industry. There are many benefits of tracing food items being shipped and mostly include preventing food waste.
This company’s system was piloted in the Southeast Asian supply chain market. The pilot was found to be effective and that is why they are moving to the second phase of implementing this system. The objective of this company is to integrate traceable shipping systems powered by blockchain for all supply chain markets used by the U.K.
The bottom line
Blockchain can be implemented by packaging departments in supply chain industries to improve the traceability of shipments. These can be used for cross-border shipments and local supply chain markets. There are different companies that have piloted projects related to blockchain in supply chain departments. These piloted projects have yielded great results and have led to more widespread implementation of blockchain systems in packaging departments.
About the Author
Thomas Lanigan has work experience for four years as a college paper and custom papers writer and editor. He covers a wide variety of topics and his work ethic, impeccable writing skills and deep subject knowledge have helped him gain the top ranks in the academic assignment writing field. He is currently authoring a book on managing startups with students as the target audience.