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Blockchain In Logistics: How DHL Can Streamline Your Supply Chain

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Blockchain has revolutionised the financial world, especially cryptocurrency systems, by maintaining a secure and decentralised record of transactions. Although this technology’s initial benefits seemed to be in the financial sector, the logistics industry can gain many benefits from this technology.

Read along further to find out how blockchain technology can be used in logistics and how DHL can help you streamline your supply chain.

What is blockchain in logistics?

A blockchain is a distributed database of nodes that are linked with each other across a network. Digital information is stored in blocks (nodes) and must be verified by most nodes in the network. Otherwise, it will be tagged as fake and discarded. Each block is linked to its previous block that creates a chain, hence the name: blockchain. 

The information in the blocks cannot be edited; any change is recorded as new information with its timestamp, so every block on the network knows how the data changed through time. No one can tamper with the blocks. If an intruder tries to add a new block to the network, its information will not match the information on the other nodes on the network; hence discarding the new block.

The security and transparency that blockchain offers have been a game-changer in cryptocurrency networks. The logistics industry is also embracing this technology to accelerate and secure trade.

How do you use blockchain in the supply chain?

The global supply chains are highly complex, with several stakeholders involved and many third parties interacting with each other. It becomes challenging to update real-time information along the supply chain. Visibility and transparency remain a challenge in global supply chain management (SCM) with complex transactions.

The blockchain revolution can solve these issues of security, visibility, and transparency in supply chains. This SCM technology helps accelerate slow and manual processes by transferring accurate information in real-time. All stakeholders update the data across the network, which all other blocks verify. Encrypted data is stored in the blocks making it almost impossible to tamper. 

SCMs also use a blockchain wallet where stakeholders can store digital currencies and make transactions through them. Online transactions across the network further ensure security and transparency.

It can become impossible to trace any error related to inventory, shipping, or payments in a conventional logistics system, back to its origin. The various stakeholders may not be updating the ledgers, which can cause missing information and data, further causing visibility and traceability issues. In the case of blockchain, all data is visible to everyone in real-time; hence, anyone can trace every transaction back to its origin with no fraud or inaccuracy.

Does DHL use blockchain technology?

DHL and Accenture released the initial findings of their joint blockchain-based serialisation prototype, which tracks pharmaceuticals from the point of origin to the consumers. The World Health Organisation has estimated that close to US$83 million worth of counterfeit drugs are sold worldwide, which causes severe health problems and even deaths in some cases. 

Blockchain security prevents errors and tampering during the supply chain of pharmaceutical products. According to a trend report released by DHL in cooperation with Accenture, tThe pharmaceutical and health sector can achieve high safety standards using a common and secure ledger, where high-quality medications will reach the patient at a much lower cost. Blockchain security ensures that the risk of counterfeits will drastically drop to save lives. 

DHL and Accenture created nodes at six different geographical locations through the working serialisation prototype where the transparent records of medications are stored. All the involved stakeholders, including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors, have access to this blockchain logistics-based prototype ledger. 

By combining blockchain and logistics, DHL provides a transparent and traceable framework for your business where you can track and trace every step along the supply chain. DHL’s blockchain shipping logistics offer premium track and trace capabilities from procuring raw materials to manufacturing products to delivering the end product to the customer.

Achieving excellence with blockchain technology

Through DHL’s blockchain-based invoicing, you can rest assured that there will be no tampering or fraud during financial transactions. You can trace all transactions back to the origin with legitimate proof. With the rapid advancement of blockchain technology in logistics, smart contracts have begun to expand and extend beyond payment and cross-border customs documentation. 

Whether you choose to leverage DHL’s blockchain technology or any other services including those of DHL Express, rest assured you can enjoy professionalism and unparalleled advantages at every stage of the journey. Open a DHL Express account today to start enjoying the benefits today!