Authors: Haoyan Wu, Zhijie Li, Brian King, Zina Ben Miled, John Wassick and Jeffrey Tazelaar


Journal Title: Information


ISSN: 2078-2489 (Online)
Publisher: MDPI AG
Supply chains (SC) span many geographies, modes and industries and involve several phases where data flows in both directions from suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, to customers. This data flow is necessary to support critical business decisions that may impact product cost and market share. Current SC information systems are unable to provide validated, pseudo real-time shipment tracking during the distribution phase. This information is available from a single source, often the carrier, and is shared with other stakeholders on an as-needed basis.
This paper introduces an independent, crowd-validated, online shipment tracking framework that complements current enterprise-based SC management solutions. The proposed framework consists of a set of private distributed ledgers and a single blockchain public ledger. Each private ledger allows the private sharing of custody events among the trading partners in a given shipment. Privacy is necessary, for example, when trading high-end products or chemical and pharmaceutical products. The second type of ledger is a blockchain public ledger. It consists of the hash code of each private event in addition to monitoring events. The latter provide an independently validated immutable record of the pseudo real-time geolocation status of the shipment from a large number of sources using commuters-sourcing.

Picture: Interactions among the participants in the proposed framework. (credits: Haoyan Wu, Zhijie Li, Brian King, Zina Ben Miled, John Wassick and Jeffrey Tazelaar)

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).


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