Blockchain for the Supply Chain - Global Trade Magazine
  May 30th, 2018 | Written by

Blockchain for the Supply Chain

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  • Blockchain technology offers enormous possibilities for supply chains.
  • Logistics students from Shanghai’s Tongji University looked for new blockchain applications in global supply chains.
  • Shanghai students pitched idea for blockchain-enabled database for unit load device tracking.

That blockchain technology offers enormous possibilities for supply chains was demonstrated by Jettainer’s three-day Think-A-Thon at this year’s transport logistic China, which took place from 16 to 18 May 2018. In order to use this technology for logistics in the future, 25 logistics students from Shanghai’s Tongji University were looking for new applications in global supply chains under the guidance of Jettainer at the industry fair in Shanghai.

The groups pitched their creative ideas to industry representatives on the last day of the fair. This included a blockchain-enabled database for unit load device (ULD) tracking.

During the Think-A-Thon, the students were divided into groups that dealt with the topic of blockchain in logistics from various perspectives. Among other things, the idea has been developed to implement a blockchain-compatible database for ULD tracking. This would have the advantage that information from airlines, ground handlers and forwarders would be stored in one place and would be easily accessible to all parties in the supply chain. This would make it possible to react quickly in the event of damages, but also to avoid future damage by means of analyses. Another idea was to integrate digital contracts into blockchain, which are forgery-proof and individually adapted to the respective customer needs. In particular, this is intended to simplify the acquisition of small customers, as marginal costs are reduced on the one hand and transparency between the contracting parties is created on the other.

“With the Think-A-Thon we have taken a new path and it has paid off,” said Carsten Hernig, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH. “The cooperation with the students has been excellent and so many creative ideas for blockchain applications in worldwide supply chains have emerged. We will now evaluate them one by one in order to further develop the topic in our company.”

The project was initiated by Jettainer GmbH, which planned the Think-A-Thon in cooperation with Messe München and the PR agency Medienbüro am Reichstag.

“The successful cooperation on the Jettainer Think-A-Thon is a good example of the exchange between business and science,” said Gerhard Gerritzen, Managing Director of Messe München GmbH. “As a trade fair organizer, we strive to develop new, innovative formats together with our exhibitors and thus promote such cooperation.”

Jettainer GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Cargo AG. Jettainer is currently responsible for the complete management of 90,000 unit load devices for 26 airlines. This includes managing, positioning, maintaining and servicing the items. The company operates at more than 450 airports around the world, including at its headquarters in Raunheim near Frankfurt/Main in Germany, as well as in Abu Dhabi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Düsseldorf, Philadelphia, Rome, Zurich, and Mumbai. Since 2014, Jettainer Americas Inc. has been operating in the United States with a headquarters in Delaware and branches in Dallas, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.

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