Blockchain use cases within transport and logistics

Blockchain can provided added visibility, among other benefits. The transport and logistics sector is becoming increasingly digitised as supply chain …
With blockchain technology now being implemented within various industries, we look at the use cases it has within transport and logistics Blockchain use cases within transport and logistics image

Blockchain can provided added visibility, among other benefits.

The transport and logistics sector is becoming increasingly digitised as supply chain management and visibility remain as important as ever, and both are key areas that can be improved by blockchain.

This feature will explore in detail the various use cases that blockchain brings to transport and logistics.

Product transparency

One general benefit that blockchain provides is transparency across supply chains, from production to distribution.

Aparna Jue, product director at IOHK, explains how food distributors in particular can benefit from the technology in this way.

“For consumers, the provenance of goods is becoming increasingly important,” said Jue. “They want to know where the products they choose have come from, and whether they have been produced and transported in ethical and/or environmentally sustainable ways.

“This is where blockchain comes in. Producers can use this affordable technology to address consumers’ requests for transparency, providing comprehensive information on the origin, production methods, supply chain journey and environmental footprint of their products.

“For example, IOHK is currently working with Wyoming-based Beefchain, whose blockchain-based software for supply chain traceability of beef products ‘from ranch to plate’ is the only US Department of Agriculture approved software of its type. Beefchain has worked with IOHK to harness our proprietary blockchain, Cardano, to trace the origin and movement of beef from farm to table.

“Through blockchain, consumers can access significantly more detail than ever before, from where and how a calf was raised – even down to who fed a cow on what day, though to how both the cattle and the beef was transported.”

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Jitendra Thethi, blockchain lead at Altran, expanded further on the added transparency that blockchain can provide to customers.

Provenance uses a blockchain to register every step of the production process,” he said. “This ensures that the transfers of ownership are explicitly authorised by their relevant controllers without having to trust the behaviour or competence of an incumbent processor.

“For the different participants in the supply chain, different software solutions exist to access the blockchain, to extract the relevant information for this participant and to confirm the step in the production process. Afterwards, the buyer can scan the product, whether this be via a QR-Code or NFC, and access the information from the blockchain to check every step of the production process.”

Bridging the gap between smaller and larger vendors

In addition, Jue went on to explain how blockchain can level the playing field across sections of food and beverage logistics.

She said: “If we think about the coffee industry, for instance, smaller coffee farmers in countries like Ethiopia may lack the capital to invest in the traceability solutions needed to complete traceability from source to supply. This is not the case for larger coffee producers, who not only have access to more resources, but also to the latest technologies.

“While larger farmers are able to use their access to secure certificates concerning the sustainability, traceability and provenience of their coffee beans, smaller farmers lack access to the technology needed to store these records, but without them multinational companies are unlikely to select them as suppliers. As a result, the space is dominated by a few large suppliers.

“By using blockchain in sectors like coffee and agriculture, all farmers need to access traceability solutions is a basic GPRS-enabled mobile phone, of the type that have been available for 20 years. With one of these, farmers can become part of a global network.

“Blockchain, by enabling them to evidence the transportation and traceability of their products via a phone app, therefore ensures the removal of layers of proverbial middle men. This connects SMBs with major supply chains in a secure, transparent manner that fosters economic growth.”

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Logging and authenticating goods

Blockchain within transport and logistics can also be used to settle agreements between vendors and distributors, without the need for paperwork.

“Blockchain has been used to log and authenticate goods, shipment receipts, and other aspects, which in turn triggers payments,” said Thethi. “If a component has GPS capabilities, location enforcements can be in effect, just as other means of enforcement are possible using various sensors.

“For example, IBM and Maersk tested blockchain in shipping container tracking. The goal was to reduce effort and paperwork.

“Through the blockchain-based platform, they can access and act upon relevant information. Shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities can be future participants.”

Location intelligence

For distributors, knowing where their products are at any one time is vital, and this is another area where blockchain can be of assistance.

Erminio Di Paola, vice-president, transport & logistics applications at HERE Technologies, explains how combining location data with blockchain can increase accuracy.

“Adding location intelligence to blockchain provides numerous benefits for transport and logistics,” said Di Paola. “By layering reliable location data with the intrinsic security of the blockchain distributed ledger function, it provides 100% certainty that an asset is being used at the right place, at the right time, by the right person.

“In the context of a large-scale shipping operation, for instance, there may be thousands of containers filled with millions of packages or assets. Using a system that can track every asset with full certainty, any concerns can be eliminated about whether the items are where they are supposed to be, or if anything is missing.”

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Fraud detection

Lastly, blockchain can be utilised within fraud detection practices, with it being able to help distributors determine the legitimacy of delivery details.

“Layering mapping capabilities and rich location data to a blockchain record also enables fraud detection,” continued Di Paola. “Without blockchain, it cannot be certain that the delivery updates provided are in fact accurate.

“Blockchain makes transactions transparent and decentralised, enabling the possibility to automatically verify their accuracy by matching the real location of an item with the location report from a logistics company.

“As every computer in the network has its own copy of the blockchain, this helps to eliminate a single point of failure or fraud.”

“Proof of Steak”: using blockchain to transform food-tracing of beef

IOHK will help BeefChain in the technological aspects of their blockchain tracing endeavor, by supporting them in using Cardano and the IOHK Atala …

The world is changing… blockchain is really the only way to go,” Steven C. Lupien, President and Co-Founder of BeefChain

Food traceability has become a priority in the food industry, with consumers demanding healthier products combined with various GMO free, hormone free and grass-fed attributes. Once a food-related health risk is discovered, companies and governments alike struggle with the repercussions. Take, for instance, the 2006 U.S. spinach and E. coli outbreak. Trying to trace the cause of the outbreak through the supply chain from retailer to farmer involves a lot of work, including for regulators. And in turn, it devastates public trust in the supply chain.

Not only does the reputation of a particular product or company plummet, but the mishandling of food traceability could also be devastating for the company. Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) no longer exists due to their part in “one of the most massive and lethal food contamination cases in the U.S.” according to Food Processing magazine. It’s estimated that the cost to the industry was $1 billion in lost production and sales, and ultimately, one of the executives ending up in jail for 28 years.

BeefChain, a blockchain startup, uses the technology to allow consumers to trace their beef products. In April 2019, Beef Chain achieved a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certification with the Process Verified Program. This means that certain characteristics, such as being hormone free, are treated as audited and certified in line with U.S. food safety regulations.

This year, BeefChain has partnered with IOHK, the technology firm behind the Cardano public blockchain. IOHK will help BeefChain in the technological aspects of their blockchain tracing endeavor, by supporting them in using Cardano and the IOHK Atala Trace solution. BeefChain works with the University of Wyoming, which received a $500,000 cryptocurrency donation from IOHK to support its Blockchain R&D Lab.

With BeefChain, ranchers will see a significant return on investment with every cow they tag. Because BeefChain enables that USDA “Process Verfied Program” stamp of approval, ranchers can sell the meat for an extra $0.05-0.50 per pound, which can amount to $30,000 with every herd. Furthermore, using blockchain may eliminate some intermediaries in the supply chain, although this has not yet been used.

How does it work?

The cows get tagged with RFID tags, costing $5 each, which can upload data to an immutable blockchain. By using these tags, a calf has a unique identity and can be tracked as it grows, is sold and moves through the supply chain to the retailer. Consumers can access this identity using a QR code, which once scanned, will take them to the BeefChain website and the ranch from which their beef has been farmed. The process was demonstrated as part of the ‘Proof of Steak’ segment of the Cardano Virtual Summit.

Apart from consumer traceability, the solution can save significant sums in the case of food recalls. An IBM / Walmart trial found it would reduce the time of a food recall from 7 days to 2.2 secondsto track mangos’ origins from across the world. Because the source can be quickly pinpointed, it avoids the wasteful removal of all the uncontaminated mangos from the shelves.

According to the Proof of Steak Summit, BeefChain is ‘very close’ to its goal of having blockchain beef tracing become a reality, having sent the first pilot batch of blockchain beef to Taiwan in February 2019.

However, the company has competition. In the U.S., has a relationship with Dairy Farmers of America. And in Australia, there is AgLive and BeefLedger, which is targeting exports to China.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is mulling blockchain for food traceability and last month GS1 US said it ran a blockchain trial with FoodLogiQ, IBM Food Trust, and SAP.

The Ledger Insights team does not have cryptocurrency holdings

Cardano (ADA) parent is making beef steaks more sustainable with blockchain

IOHK has provided everything we needed and more.” According to Lupien, blockchain utilization in the ranching industry offers benefits across …

Cardano (ADA) parent IOHK announced a partnership yesterday with Wyoming-based BeefChain. The firms will build a solution for the traceability and security of beef products.

Tracing beef with blockchain

Jerry Fragiskatos, the chief commercial officer at IOHK, announced the partnership at the Cardano virtual conference held Wednesday. He said the effort will power ranchers to tackle food security and safety issues in the billion-dollar industry.

BeefChain program manager and Wyoming State Representative Tyler Lindholm agreed with the comments, stating the blockchain-powered solution will improve food safety and recalls. Supply chain concerns will, in the process, also be benefited.

Screenshot of the Cardano Virtual Summit where the Beefchain partnership was announced. (Source: YouTube)

The project will approach a “farm-to-fork” method. That means the beef products will be tagged and traced right from the farms they come from, to the supply chain, to the logistics in between, and finally, to the user’s table.

Such a method would allow firms to use BeefChain’s solutions to pinpoint a bad batch or even a fraudulent product that could be inferior (or even another meat).

Lindholm pointed out retail giants like Walmart are already running pilot projects using blockchain technology to improve the accountability of its store’s products. The firm has transitioned from its decades-old tracing solution to a blockchain alternative — which brings with it speed and immutability of data.

Meanwhile, BeefChain President Steven Lupien remarked about IOHK in the conference:

“Our partnership with IOHK brings state-of-the-art technology to ranchers […] We are not technologists [and] IOHK is providing the backbone to our system and it is secured, transparent, and scalable. IOHK has provided everything we needed and more.”

According to Lupien, blockchain utilization in the ranching industry offers benefits across certification, traceability, and consumer engagement use cases among others.

With the IOHK partnership, it shall now certify producers with a process verified program (PVP); featuring quality assurance metrics like grass-fed and zero hormone treatment among other factors.

Blockchains for trust in food sources

The world loves its steaks. But beef supply has, in recent years, being met with criticism ranging from unsustainable practices and the lack of accountability. Similar concerns have been made for Norwegian Salmon, as CryptoSlate earlier reported.

Led by Greta Thunberg, youths rally in Sweden against climate change and sustainable living. (Source: AFP)

For both these issues, the blockchain has been deployed as a solution. Traceability of food sources remains a major issue in the world — with counterfeits and below-par products reportedly thronging thousands of grocery stores.

The cost is no bar. Consumers are ready to pay a premium for the real deal, as per an IBM Blockchain survey. This includes brands following “sustainable” practices, which have been stressed by climate change activists fiercely in recent years.

Meanwhile, bringing beef to a blockchain is not new. In May, an Australian blockchain startup AgLive said it was working with local authorities to authenticate the quality of the country’s famed beef products in exports to China and other markets.

woman checks blockchain tag on beefwoman checks blockchain tag on beef
(Source: Farmweekly)

AgLive director Paul Ryan noted at the time:

“We are now living in a world where food fraud and related health risks are becoming a growing problem (…), so we must work together to restore consumer trust.”

We never know; quality steaks could end up being the killer app for blockchain.

Posted In: Cardano, U.S., Adoption

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Blockchain tech will see traceability realised faster

Adopting blockchain technology will make integration of end-to-end traceability faster and easier for companies, according to a group of denim brands …
Boyish has engaged Re-traced to help with its supply chain mapping

Boyish has engaged Re-traced to help with its supply chain mapping

Adopting blockchain technology will make integration of end-to-end traceability faster and easier for companies, according to a group of denim brands speaking at the recent Kingpins Transformers Foundation digital event.

Jordan Nodarse of denim brand Boyish, Tony Tonnaer of Kings of Indigo and Anna Foster of E.L.V Denim spoke on the Visionary Brands’ Panel with moderator Ani Wells of Simply Suzette, as part of the organisation’s Catalysts summit — its first as a non-profit entity.

Wells asked the three about their efforts around sustainability and what their thoughts were on adopting blockchain technologies as an enabler for traceability.

Foster said depending on the size of the business, blockchain adoption would be embraced differently.

“My supply chain is literally five steps,” she said, adding her fabrics are laundered and up-cycled into new denim items at facilities within a five-mile radius.

“I can sit down and have cups of tea with every person I work with. For me, the priority is around social responsibility as well as environmental.

“We can spend so much time on creating reports and investing in the blockchain, in trying to make the right decisions for the environment. If I were to invest all my time in blockchain, it would take away from the personal touch of working directly with my suppliers, working closely with the people whose opinion I value in making my product and who can guide me on how to work with a previously used item.

“Currently my time is better spent doing that until I’m big enough to invest back in blockchain for my business.”

Nodarse, however, said in small businesses, it is difficult to “do sustainability” when you are “just one person”.

“With blockchain, it meant handing over the reins to a company that can do it; that makes less work for me.”

He has engaged Retraced, which helped him with supply chain mapping. Retraced’s solution collects supply chain information from the client and makes it available for the end-consumer – connecting shoppers with the makers of fashion and offering insights into the production process and raw materials.

“I realised the most important thing was being able to map my supply chain to be able to show my consumers. That’s something we are working on now. I think it is going to be great. It’s a one-stop-shop that shows where things are coming from, what it all means and how I can understand it better.”

Tonnaer added one of the biggest things he finds with paperwork and certifications is the prevalence of fraud.

“One way to get around that, and I believe it is a big part of our future, is technology. That is technology in sales, production and marketing. I think blockchain is a part of it for sure as it provides proof of goings-on in your supply chain.”

All three agreed with any type of technological integration that mapped the supply chain, the message needed to be translated into an easy-to-understand format for consumers.

“It needs to be translated into very simple terms. There’s no point adding lots of technical terminologies, it needs to be an enabler for the consumer to decide between your product and another. They are our judge and jury,” said Foster.

Tonnaer agreed: “It needs to be translated into very simple, decision-making ratings that allow you to separate the best from the rest: Who is just making claims without being able to back them up? Who can verify their claims?”

In February, denim conference Kingpins Transformers transitioned into Transformers Foundation, a non-profit entity focused on actively addressing and facilitating change in key areas of the denim supply chain. It sees the Foundation focus on social responsibility, sustainable cotton, responsible chemical management and consumer education.

Earlier, a panel session conceded the success of transparency and traceability within the clothing industry relies on each part of the supply chain sharing a common goal, and urged brands and manufacturers to seek out like-minded partners.

Cardano Partners World’s first USDA Certified Blockchain Firm to Offer Food Traceability Solution

The future of Cardano blockchain and IOHK continues to excite their teams as they forecast brighter days for the companies due to the solutions they …

The future of Cardano blockchain and IOHK continues to excite their teams as they forecast brighter days for the companies due to the solutions they offer.

In the latest Cardano virtual summit Proof of Stake edition, the Chief Technical Offer at IOHK, Jerry Fragiskatos, announced a new partnership the blockchain firm signed to offer food traceability solutions to ranchers by tracking beef from farm to table.

Cardano has just partnered with Wyoming-based traceability solution company Beefchain that helps ranchers tackle food security problems.

The summit where the partnership was announced featured the Chief Ranch Operations (CRO) for Beefchain, Tyler Lyndholm, the CEO – Steven Lucan, CTO Philip Schlump, and Ahmad Alkabra, Atala Trace product and Partnership manager for IOHK.

Beefchain is the world’s first blockchain-based company to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the assurance of its cattle produce.

The Chief Ranch Operations officer at Beefchain said as regards food traceability, food safety is always of great concern, and various governments across the world have made significant moves to tackle the issue. He further explained that over one year before now, Walmart employed blockchain technology to ensure the traceability of some of its products like the Roman lettuce and other leafy greens.

The president and CEO of BeefChain, in his presentation at the online summit, said he and his entire company are grateful to IOHK and Cardano for the opportunity they offer them in developing their technology, adding that partnering with Cardano is really great.

He noted that Beefchain’s objective, since creation, was to tackle some problems that are impacting the ranching community, such as intermediaries, frauds, and regulatory problems. Cardano blockchain technology offers a great approach to solve all of these problems.

Due to the transparency, immutability, and distributed nature of blockchain technology, Steven claims blockchain is the only way to go in storing and sharing data with its farmers and customers/consumers.

Beefchain has also partnered the state of Wyoming, and the University of Wyoming to ensure the firm meets up with regulatory standards.

Steven Lucan concluded that the partnership with IOHK and Atala Trace, a product of Cardano, bring ranchers a state-of-art technology, since IOHK provides a backbone to Beefchain’s system with its secured, transparent and scalable features.

Furthering on the use case of blockchain technology, Tyler Lyndholm said using the verified data, ranchers make an additional $25 to $30 thousand every year on a herd of cattle.

With the introduction of the verified data scheme, ranchers have made more investments for raising quality products, thanks to the Cardano and IOHK’s team, the CRO officer at Beefchain said.

Earlier in 2019, it was reported that Beefchain makes use of Ethereum blockchain for its activities in ensuring the security of its beef products. However, it is not clear whether the platform has abandoned the Ethereum network for Cardano, or it uses both.

Meanwhile, NewsLogical has reached out to BeefChain and IOHK for more information on the partnership, but we have not gotten a response yet.