Block Chain Technology – The Future of the Supply Chain Industry

The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the brainchild of a personor group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet.

I, for one, am extremely excited to see how Blockchain Technologies or Hyperledger moves in the coming year. Being a part of SP Jain’s GLSCM Specialisation, I wanted to work in a different role and wished to move out of the current technical operational role to a strategic role.  In the GLSCM program, I have worked on many assignments/projects that allowed me to put theory taught in the classroom into practice. This is where my interest in Block Chain Technology arose.

The basic question remains. What is Block Chain Technology?

The way it works is as simple as it sounds. Block Chain Technology provides each stakeholder end-to-end visibility, based on their permission matrix to shipping documents. This helps stakeholders to see where exactly the containers are, and at what stage their formal documentation process is pending. The latter element is a very big issue in shipping.

With the help of blockchain technology, no stakeholder can change or delete records without agreement from others on the network. With such a level of transparency, fraud and errors are reduced to a bare minimum. It also reduces the time spent in transit & shipping process, which, in turn, improves inventory management & ultimately reduces cost.

Two of the industry giants have implemented this in their respective fields today. Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology.

The solution of implementing Hyperledger will help track & manage paper trails of millions of shipping containers across the world by making the supply chain process to the digital platform “end- to end”. If adopted in a large scale, it has the potential to save billions of dollars for the shipping industry.

About the Author:

Ashish Tripathi (GMBA ‘14) is a Marine engineer with over 9 years of experience in the Shipping Industry. He currently works with TORM Shiping India, and has previously held positions with MODEC Singapore, British Petroleum Marine Services & Mitsui O.S.K Lines. From his Mumbai office, Ashish overlooks the supply chain division for 80 product tanker ships operating globally. Ashish is absolutely in love with his work as it involves a lot of diverse issues which need to be resolved, right from contract management to the availability of spares.

Ashish is a strong advocate of biking to work (Yes, even inMumbai). He also finds solace in cooking, and claims it brings in creativity and the freedom to experiment.

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