The other day somebody asked me what single blockchain development really gets my creative and logistics juices flowing. Without hesitation I can say: the ultimate marriage of the physical, financial and information flows within the supply chain. Granted, this sounds very abstract and we’re definitely not there yet, but on the other hand I have been fortunate enough to see and be involved in some early but promising developments in that area.
One of them is inventory finance, a project done in a consortium with Exact, ABN-AMRO Commercial Finance, Innopay and NBK. The premise is simple: provide shippers with additional credit based on the inventory they store at a Logistics Service Provider. So why Blockchain? First of all, these kind of solutions already exist, but they have downsides, such as being highly centralized and requiring extensive integration projects. This works in cases where the supply chain is controlled by a dominant member, but in highly decentralized supply chain with potentially hundred thousands of SMEs this is mission impossible. By using the blockchain, in particular a crypthographic primitive such as hashfunctions, digital signatures and tokens it’s now possible to create a form of data exchange that’s secure, is decentralized, works on the public Ethereum blockchain and allows for easy data sharing. The benefits?
Next blog will be about DELIVER, a solution developed in a consortium with ABN-AMRO, Port Authorities of Rotterdam, Flora Holland and Transfollow, that links the physical receipt of the cargo by the receiver, with the data of a digital waybill (or CMR)and triggers the financing of the invoice of the LSP.
Aljosja Beije, Logisitics lead