Cargo Talk - - Opinion -

Di­rec­tor Air­freight (In­dian Sub-Con­ti­nent), DSV Air & Sea Blockchain pri­mary us­age started in fi­nance sec­tor for main­tain­ing en­crypted ledger of trans­ac­tions be­tween sender and re­cip­i­ent with as­sur­ance of safety and track flow of data. Sim­i­larly tak­ing same ba­sic prin­ci­ple in fu­ture of DSC (dig­i­tal sup­ply chain) cur­rently with so much digi­ti­sa­tion un­der process at every stage, blockchain tech­nol­ogy will en­sure trans­ac­tion safety / trans­parency and trust at var­i­ous level of SCM. Blockchain tech­nol­ogy along with DSC will in­te­grate var­i­ous in­ter­me­di­aries which will lead to min­imis­ing cost of gov­er­nance, cost of in­ter­act­ing with var­i­ous plat­form/or­gan­i­sa­tion in sup­ply chain ecosys­tem more ac­cu­rately and in real time. Cur­rent chal­lenge for blockchain tech­nol­ogy is sys­tem in­te­gra­tion at var­i­ous level, which causes high in­vest­ment cost. Peo­ple still are un­aware of po­ten­tial ben­e­fit through in­for­ma­tion shar­ing at real-time.

With blockchain, the ledger is secured be­cause each new block of trans­ac­tions is linked back to pre­vi­ous blocks in a way that makes tam­per­ing prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble. As it is de­cen­tralised, it does not de­pend on any sin­gle en­tity (like a bank) for safe­keep­ing. The nodes con­nected to the blockchain net­work get up­dated ver­sions of the ledger as new trans­ac­tions are made. The mul­ti­ple copies of the ledger are the ‘truth’ about every trans­ac­tion made so far in the blockchain. If we com­pare sup­ply chain and blockchain to­gether, we surely find that sup­ply chain has be­come com­pli­cated. We can also use the term cum­ber­some be­cause it takes days to make a pay­ment be­tween a man­u­fac­turer and a sup­plier, or a cus­tomer and a ven­dor. Con­tracts must be han­dled by lawyers and bankers, which means ex­tra cost and de­lay. Prod­ucts and parts are often hard to trace back to sup­pli­ers, mak­ing de­fects dif­fi­cult to elim­i­nate. Whether for in­dus­trial equip­ment, con­sumer goods, food prod­ucts, or dig­i­tal of­fer­ings, sup­ply chains have headaches a-plenty.Fric­tion in sup­ply chain is a big prob­lem. There are too many go-be­tweens. There is too much to-ing and fro-ing. The rise in un­cer­tainty stops sup­ply chains from work­ing well. Sup­pli­ers, providers and clients must deal via cen­tral third-party en­ti­ties, in­stead of di­rectly with each other. Blockchain could be the an­swer to many of these is­sues. How­ever, it goes much fur­ther than a hack­proof way of hold­ing and ex­chang­ing money. In-depth trans­for­ma­tion of sup­ply chains will not hap­pen overnight. How­ever, sup­ply chains can al­ready start us­ing blockchain for small por­tions of their op­er­a­tions.

HARPREET SINGH MAL­HO­TRA Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Tiger Lo­gis­tics

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