Forum Digitization Transport and Logistics

Blockchains for Logistics and Supply Chain Management

At the “Forum Digitalization Transport and Logistics” held by Lufthansa Industry Solutions, Dr. Carsten Böhle presented the functional principle and characteristics of blockchains and discussed their use in logistics and supply chain management.

Norderstedt, June 27, 2017 – When they transfer money, millions of people all over the world are already using blockchain technology, whether they realize it or not. In 2008, an author known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto described the functional principle of so-called cryptocurrencies. Within a short time, Bitcoin had already found widespread acceptance. Well-known and regional companies have more than once offered their customers the opportunity to make payment in this way. The value of a Bitcoin rose from a few euros in 2009 up to 3,000 euros in 2017.

For years now, a discussion has been ongoing about whether blockchain technology could have other applications. Financial applications are the most obvious, although the often unique characteristics of this technology make it interesting for applications in other industries, as well. For instance, it is fully decentralized while at the same time guaranteeing that data once stored remain unchanged. Yet Bitcoin is still the only productive case of the technology finding application with large groups of users.

At present, the hype surrounding this technology is giving way to a critical discussion of how it could be put to productive use. In logistics, as well, both long-established technology corporations and start-ups are making efforts to come up with convincing scenarios. Here the focus is on those in which a large number of actors collaborate in manufacturing and transporting specific goods, such as highly valuable or perishable items. This is where blockchain technology could replace centralized platforms and enable trustworthy workflows across various organizations.

Possible benefits of using blockchains in supply chains are:

  • a single infrastructure instead of innumerable platforms
  • facilitates value added (micro) Services
  • creates compliance, transparence, Consensus
  • prior data remain unchanged
  • visible to all actors in real time
  • tracking possible across various processes and organizations
  • improved identification of attempts at fraud
About Lufthansa Industry Solutions

Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. This Lufthansa subsidiary helps its clients with the digital transformation of their companies. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, as well as more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt and employs more than 1,300 members of staff at several branch offices in Germany, Switzerland and the USA.