The increasing fragmentation of logistics chains into a multiplicity of actors with diverging interests complicates the identification of goods flows.
Faced with the threat of health crises, retailers rely on this new technology, blockchain, to strengthen the traceability of their goods.
A certifying technology, based on peer-to-peer and without a control body, the "open" blockchain aims to restore trust within complex networks such as those of the cold chain, where the control of safety standards is a real public health issue.
Complex logistics networks and lack of visibility
Consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency on the origin of products, from both industrials and retail brands.
From now on, supply chain professionals are almost looking for the guarantee of the smooth delivery of goods from their suppliers. In the case of perishable products, such as food or pharmaceutical products, this means that the products must not have been damaged during transport or broken in the cold chain.
However, in 2018, global losses due to cold chain disruptions amounted to $35 million according to Froidnews.
Keeping the package at a constant temperature requires strict real-time monitoring of the storage temperatures of the products and the refrigerated container. European regulations require a storage temperature between -3°C and +8°C. For frozen food they must not exceed -18°C.
To carry out his mission successfully, the logistics provider must visualize the logistics network in real time and link the reliable history of all temperatures to each link in the logistics network. It must also be alerted to exceedance thresholds, in order to identify problematic containers and remove them quickly from distribution channels.
Blockchain: a temperature monitoring solution via the transfer of responsibility monitoring
Numerous professionals rely on connected objects to geolocate and secure their goods. However, IoT geolocation trackers are often not only expensive, but also incapable of engaging the real responsibility of an actor. A pallet of charges geolocated on a dock for 45 minutes in the middle of summer will give information about a degradation of the fresh product but finally who to turn against? The warehouse manager? The forklift driver? The driver? The same applies to the single use of a simple temperature IoT.
With blockchain it is a question of following the transfers of responsibility and no longer directly the goods. By identifying all interactions with goods, the extended visibility of logistics networks is guaranteed even on multiple levels of outsourcing.
By means of the open blockchain, a unique digital tracker created for all transport equipment allows all supply chain actors to be monitored in real time.
Thus, this technology allows supply chain actors to "pass the buck" of responsibility. It is no longer a simple declarative system, based on the goodwill of the actors, but a real mechanism of consensus between the actors that makes it possible to certify the trade in goods. During this transfer of responsibility, the recipient remains free, in full knowledge of the facts, to accept or refuse the goods. As soon as he accepts it, he signs his responsibility. This makes it possible to know at all times "who is responsible for what throughout the supply chain".
Coupled with this blockchain-powered transfer of responsibility, IoTs can add important information and bundles of evidence. Transport documents, photos but also all the information issued by an IoT can be linked to the certified transfer.
Thanks to Blockchain technology, logistics operators will now be able to hold their teams of carriers accountable and have truly certified data, all without the need for a trusted third party, and therefore at a minimal cost.