UN report investigates Blockchain Application for Global Supply Chain

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has recently published a white paper, delving into the applications of Blockchain technology within the global supply chain.

Pubilc review of the white paper is currently available.

The UN/CEFACT’s report focuses on Blockchain technology’s potential to impact the elements of trust that are of exponential importance to global supply chain management. Some of the main areas of applications that were discussed are:

  • Ability to impact data reliability and trust; impact on the authenticity of products and production

  • Cutting down on activities that are inefficient because of a lacking digitalization: “paper documents, manual signatures, insurance premiums and escrow and 25 other trusted third-party services”.

  • Protection of goods during shipping (packaging, container conditions, vehicles etc.)

The publication highlights that Blockchain technology has the potential to greatly impact the digital capabilities of organizations, but that it’s disruption isn’t singular. The authors do a good job positioning blockchain within the larger context of other impactful technologies. This report is reassuring that the digital transformation of supply chains globally is just in it’s infancy and even if blockchain innovations will be a North Star for many elements of data verification and trust, there are a plethora of equally impactful technologies on the rise. The Internet of Things are one of those technologies, in particular, highlighted in the report.

UN/CEFACT’s purpose and scope of the Blockchain White Paper is to pose and address two questions at it’s core:

  • What opportunities do these technologies present for improving e-business, trade facilitation and the international supply chain?

  • What is the impact on existing UN/CEFACT standards and what gaps could be usefully addressed by new UN/CEFACT specifications?

Providing a background, and basis for investigation, allows the UN/CEFACT’s report to credibly hypothesize the application of blockchain technology in various scopes, and contexts for the future of supply chain optimization and automation.

Will your business feel the impact of Blockchain tech?