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12 Blockchain in Supply Chain Case Study in 2024

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology for supply chain management for businesses that are eager to downsize human-error-related problems. According to IBM, more than 70% of supply chain leaders reported that there is a compelling advancement in speed, data quality, integrity, and visibility when human intervention is removed through the use of emerging technologies such as blockchain.1

In our article on the implementation of blockchain in the supply chain, we discussed its advantages and use cases. To name just a few of the industries developing blockchain in their supply chains, we can list:

  • Agriculture
  • Food Supply
  • Maritime Logistics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Luxury Goods
  • Fashion

In this article, we will explore 12 case studies from these different industries to see how blockchain is implemented in the supply chain processes.

  1. AgriDigital

Agriculture is one of the least digitized sectors where farmers still use paperwork records to keep data of, for example, the pharmaceuticals used on animals. AgriDigital is an agricultural commodity management platform provider and supply chain financier. It is founded for creating a verification system based on blockchain, to bring a solution to the digitalization of farming procedures and goods. 

As customers are interested in the organic status of the products, relevant data about the stages of growing the product and its transportation are kept for making the provenance traceable for customers. By implementation of blockchain technology, now customers can find out the organic status of their products along the supply chain. 2

  1. Intel in Fruit Distribution

Intel collaborated with a large and independent blueberry distributor to deliver fresh fruits from harvest to market. Intel’s Connected Logistics Platform and Hyperledger Sawtooth Blockchain employed an integrated IoT solution for this. 3The system enabled auditing and tracking of environmental conditions of the product from harvesting to storage and delivery. Factors such as temperature, humidity, light, etc. are controlled in real-time. Thus, the system enabled the minimization of freshness loss.

  1. Techrock

Techrock is a firm that works mainly on infant formula to assure parents that their product is not counterfeit. This is important for infant formulas as they have the risk of contamination with melamine poison if the source is unreliable. To solve this problem, Techrock uses smart packaging that allows smartphone verification of the tag on the product package. Each unique verification tag is controlled by a Hyperledger-based blockchain. So, parents are able to confirm that their products are authentic with this verification system.

  1. Walmart

Walmart works in collaboration with IBM to secure the health of its food supply, which consists of a complex and hard-to-follow web of the supply chain. With such a big supply chain, keeping track of the food condition is challenging. Contaminations can occur if the temperature is not managed during the supply process. 

Also, fresh foods such as fruits and dairy are prone to spoil. According to the UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report 2021, 13% of global food waste is due to retail.4 To combat these challenges, Walmart uses blockchain technology to keep the record of temperature in the transportation unit during the transit of foods. This way, it allows the track of food provenance just in minutes compared to days of paperwork-based methods.

  1. TraSeable Solutions & World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Partnership

Another case of blockchain usage is fishing. Customers demand that the process that supplies fish to their table is compliant with ESG standards. The partnership of TraSeable and WWF is organized to prevent illegal fishing. Their system is designed to gather data about the harvests like location, catch logs, crew detail etc., to minimize the sale of illegal or unethical fishing. They use QR codes on fish packages, which enables end consumers to track such information encoded via blockchain.

  1. TradeLens

Maersk, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, collaborates with IBM to leverage a blockchain-based tracking system of international cargo via ocean freight in real-time. The collaboration is named TradeLens. Besides secure data exchange and anti-tampering, TradeLens allows stakeholders to follow the flow of goods in the transit process. In one example from the US, IBM reports that TradeLens was able to reduce the transit time of a shipment to a production line by 40%, saving thousands of dollars in cost. 5

  1. ZIM

Although this case is based on piloting and trial period, ZIM, a container shipping company, initiated the use of blockchain in digitizing the bill of lading. This bill is an essential document for shipping in which information like destination, quantity, product description and billing information are stored. Their aim is to digitize this data and prevent inaccurate data load in freight invoices.

  1. Modum

Another type of product that is sensitive to environmental conditions is pharmaceutical drugs. Modu, a Swiss startup, collaborated with the University of Zurich to implement a safe process for drug transits. Modum uses sensors to record temperature during the transit. Also, it uses smart contracts to compare whether the temperature of the product on the verge of delivery is compliant with legal requirements. If not, it also reports the deviation both to the sender and to the receiver. This helps prevent the release of possibly-damaged drugs. 6

  1. Alibaba

Another big business implementing blockchain technology is Alibaba. Alibaba implemented blockchain for preventing counterfeit food, ensuring medical data and tracking cross-border shipments. By this system, it not only facilitates supply chain management but also allows consumers to authenticate their products.

  1. Demeter

Similar to TraSeable, Demeter (a pseudo name given to a firm by researchers7) is another company using QR codes to enable wine consumers’ verification of their product’s authenticity. Data on growing conditions, variety of grapes, and handlers of the wine during the supply chain are recorded via blockchain.

  1. De Beers

Blockchain is not only used in food supply and cross-border logistics, but also in diamond business. De Beers, one of the largest diamond producers, are adopting blockchain technology to keep track of stages their diamonds endure till they reach the jewelry store. The aim is to prevent blood diamonds, which are mined under violent and bloody circumstances especially in Africa.  

  1. Martin Jarlgaard & Provenance Partnership

Last but not least, the fashion industry can be another area where blockchain is implemented to monitor the supply of garments. Designer Martin Jarlgaard teamed up with Provenance to track a garment in all its development phases and presented it in a fashion show. This is indicative of blockchain usage in the fashion industry, where concerns about the production conditions of garments are increasing.

If you have other questions about the use of blockchain technology in supply chains, feel free to reach out:

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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