Blockchain Applications in Supply Chain

  • Davor DujakEmail author
  • Domagoj Sajter
Part of the EcoProduction book series (ECOPROD)


Blockchain is a technological concept which evolves from the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and disrupts constantly enlarging areas of economy. The concept of blockchain is developing, and while the future of Bitcoin remains unclear (as it is for the most elements of the economy) it is evident that the blockchain holds enormous potential for large-scale improvements. However, being a technology that could decrease significance many of today’s large global corporations, institutions and power structures which have keen interest in preserving established hierarchies, its potential could well remain unexploited. This paper aims to introduce and present the concept of blockchain and its current applications in logistics and supply networks. Blockchain technology promises overpowering trust issues and allowing trustless, secure and authenticated system of logistics and supply chain information exchange in supply networks. The new implementations within supply chain are shifting from blockchain to a wider notion of distributed ledger technologies. Paper presents description and rationale behind current and possible future applications of blockchain in logistics and supply chain.


Blockchain Cryptocurrency Distributed ledger Supply chain Logistics 


  1. 1.
    Abeyratne, S. A., & Monfared, R. P. (2016, 9). Blockchain ready manufacturing supply chain using distributed ledger. International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology, 5, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aimes, B. (2017). EDI vendor Kleinschmidt joins blockchain group. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from DC Velocity:
  3. 3.
    Allison, I. (2017). Maersk and IBM want 10 million shipping containers on the global supply blockchain by year-end. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from International Business Time:
  4. 4.
    Antonopoulos, A. M. (2017, 6). Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the open blockchain (2nd ed.). O’Reilly Media, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Banker, J. (2017). Blockchain in the supply chain: Too much hype. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Forbes:
  6. 6.
    Behner, P., Hecht, M.-L., & Wahl, F. (2017). Fighting counterfeit pharmaceuticals: New defenses for an underestimated—and growing—menace. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from strategy&
  7. 7.
    Bozarth, C. B., & Handfield, R. B. (2006). Introduction to operations and supply chain management. Pearson—Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brandimarte, P., & Zotteri, G. (2007, 6). Introduction to distribution logistics. Wiley.
  9. 9.
    Buxbaum, P. (2017, 1). Chinese logistics industry enters blockchain era. Retrieved from
  10. 10.
    Casey, M. J., & Wong, P. (2017, 3). Global supply chains are about to get better, thanks to blockchain. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from
  11. 11.
    Chopra, S., & Meindl, P. (2007). Supply chain management. Strategy, planning & operation. Das summa summarum des management, pp. 265–275.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Christidis, K., & Devetsikiotis, M. (2016). Blockchains and smart contracts for the internet of things. IEEE Access, 4, 2292–2303. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cotrill, K. (2017). The Benefits of blockchain: Fact or wishful thinking? Retrieved from chain business insights: Supply chain reimagined:
  14. 14.
    DeCovny, S. (2017). Blockchain in supply chain: Edging toward higher visibility. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from Chain Business Insights:
  15. 15.
    del Castillo, M. (2017). The world’s largest shipping firm now tracks cargo on blockchain. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Coindesk:
  16. 16.
    Dujak, D., Segetlija, Z., & Mesarić, J. (2017). Efficient demand management in retailing through category management. In P. Golinska-Dawson & A. Kolinski (Eds.), Efficiency in sustainable supply chains (pp. 195–216). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Duque, A. (2016). Can blockchains drive supply chain transparency in 2016? Retrieved December 12, 2017, from LinkedIn:
  18. 18.
    Feuchtwanger, H. (2017). Logistics on the blockchain? It’s happening. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Sweetbridge:
  19. 19.
    Frazelle, E. (2002). Supply chain strategy: The logistics of supply chain management. McGrraw Hill. Retrieved from
  20. 20.
    Gerard, D. (2017). Attack of the 50 foot blockchain: Bitcoin, blockchain, Ethereum & smart contracts. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goetschalckx, M., & Fleischmann, B. (2005). Strategic network planning. In Supply chain management and advanced planning (pp. 117–137). Berlin: Springer.
  22. 22.
    Grey, E. (2017). Could blockchain technology revolutionise shipping? Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Ship Technology:
  23. 23.
    Hackius, N., & Petersen, M. (2017). Blockchain in logistics and supply chain: Trick or treat? Proceedings of the Hamburg International Conference of Logistics (HICL)-Digitalization in Supply Chain Management and Logistics (pp. 3–18). Hamburg: epubli.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Handfield, R. B., & Nichols, E. L. (2002). Supply chain redesign: Transforming supply chains into integrated value systems. Financial Times Press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Heinen, D. (2017). Blockchain in supply chain management—in the future, trust must be earned rather than paid. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Capgemini Consulting:
  26. 26.
    Herzberg, B. (2015). Blockchain: The solution for transparency in product supply chains. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Provenance:
  27. 27.
    IBM. (2017). Walmart,, IBM and Tsinghua University launch a blockchain food safety alliance in China. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from IBM.COM:
  28. 28.
    IBM. (2018). Maersk and IBM to form joint venture applying blockchain to improve global trade and digitize supply chains. Retrieved January 20, 2018, from IBM.COM:
  29. 29.
    Kalakota, R. (2012, 12 1). Multi-channel to omni-channel retail analytics: A big data use case. Retrieved 1 20, 2018, from Practical Analytics:
  30. 30.
    Kennedy, Z., Stephenson, D. E., Christ, J., Pope, T. R., Arey, B., Barrett, C. A., et al. (2017). Enhanced anti-counterfeiting measures for additive manufacturing: Coupling lanthanide nanomaterial chemical signatures with blockchain technology. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 37(5), 9570–9578.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lee, H. L., Padmanabhan, V., & Whang, S. (1997). Information distortion in a supply chain: The bullwhip effect. Management Science, 43(4), 546–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mentzer, J. T., Moon, M. A., Estampe, D., & Margolis, G. (2007). Demand management. In Handbook of global supply chain management (pp. 65–86). SAGE Publications, Inc.
  33. 33.
    Mesarić, J., & Dujak, D. (2013). Developing supply chain networks—status and trends. Proceedings of International Scientific Conference Business Logistics in Modern Management (pp. 59–71). Osijek: Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Retrieved from
  35. 35.
    Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A., & Goldfeder, S. (2016). Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies: A comprehensive introduction. Princeton University Press. Retrieved from
  36. 36.
    Panetta, K. (2017, 10 3). Gartner Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018. Retrieved 1 20, 2018, from Gartner:
  37. 37.
    Peters, G., & Panayi, E. (2015, 11 18). Understanding modern banking ledgers through blockchain technologies: Future of transaction processing and smart contracts on the internet of money. SSRN. doi:
  38. 38.
    Ream, J., Chu, D., & Shatsky, D. (2016). Upgrading blockchains: Smart contract use cases in industry. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Delloite insights:
  39. 39.
    Roberts, J. J. (2017). The diamond industry is obsessed with the blockchain. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from Fortune:
  40. 48.
    Segetlija, Z., Mesarić, J., & Dujak, D. (2011). Importance of distribution channels—Marketing Channels—for National Economy, 22nd CROMAR congress: marketing challenges in new economy, (p. 785–809). Pula, Croatia, 6–8 November.Google Scholar
  41. 40.
    Shields, N., & Camhi, J. (2017). Transportation and logistics briefing: Waymo, GM eye monetizing self-driving technologies—White House announces new commercial drone program—Blockchain’s place in agricultural supply chains. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Business Insider:
  42. 41.
    Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, North Carolina State University. (2017, April 02). Supply chain resource cooperative. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)?
  43. 42.
    Tian, F. (2016, 6). An agri-food supply chain traceability system for China based on RFID & blockchain technology. 2016 13th International Conference on Service Systems and Service Management ({ICSSSM}). IEEE.
  44. 43.
    US General Services Administration. (2017, 8 13). GSA. Retrieved 1 20, 2018, from Blockchain:
  45. 44.
    Van Kralingen, B. (2018). IBM, Maersk joint blockchain venture to enhance global trade. Retrieved January 20, 2018, from IBM.COM:
  46. 45.
    Vitasek, K., & CSCMP, (2013, August 15). Supply chain management terms and glossary. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from council of supply chain management professionals:
  47. 46.
    Waters, D. (2003). Logistics: An introduction to supply chain management. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  48. 47.
    Xia, J., & Yongjun, L. (2017). Trust evaluation model for supply chain enterprises under blockchain environment. Proceedings of the 2017 7th International Conference on Social Network, Communication and Education ({SNCE} 2017) (pp. 634–638). Atlantis Press.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics in OsijekJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekOsijekCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Finance and Accounting, Faculty of Economics in OsijekJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekOsijekCroatia

Personalised recommendations