Blockchain – Supply Chain Management Vendor Focus – Summer 2021

Posted on August 23, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

The pandemic highlighted the need for more resilient, more transparent supply chains, healthcare delivery and financial services, so enterprises have been investing in blockchain as an enabler. IDC forecasts that organizations will spend nearly US$6.6 billion on blockchain solutions in 2021, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2020. Moreover, spending will continue grow throughout the 2020-2024 period with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48%. Spending in the U.S. will be nearly US$2.6 billion in 2021, making it the largest geographic market, followed by Western Europe (US$1.6 billion) and China (US$777 million).

According to the research firm, the leading use case is cross-border payments and settlements, which uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to track, trace, and manage payments and settlements. The second largest use case is lot lineage/provenance, where blockchain is used to verify the origin and authenticity of products as they move through the value chain. Other leading use cases include trade finance and post trade/transaction settlements, asset/goods management and identity management.

Despite the work challenges we’ve all faced during COVID-19, there are some exciting initiatives on the go across the globe. Here are some recent ones that have caught our eye.

Everledger and won Aussie government grants

The Australian government is investing more than A$5.6 million through the Blockchain Pilot Grants program to investigate blockchain to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s Critical Minerals and Food and Beverage sectors. The program will demonstrate the potential for blockchain to improve processes such as tracking products throughout the supply chain and transferring customer information. The Blockchain Pilot Grants build on the National Blockchain Roadmap, which ensures Australia is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities this technology can enable. 

Two recipients have received Blockchain Pilot Grants. Everledger received A$3 million to create a digital certification for critical minerals throughout the supply chain from extraction to processing and export to global markets. The pilot will help companies in the sector adhere to compliance regulations and increase the demand for Australian minerals in global markets while also simplifying the process and lowering costs.

Today’s electric vehicle batteries, electronics batteries, wind turbines, charging stations, solar panels and transmission lines cannot be built without copper, lithium, nickel or cobalt and other critical minerals. This pilot will strengthen domestic mineral supply chains, reduce the reliance on foreign minerals, and minimize carbon emissions. The pilot will be conducted across Australia with partners including CSIRO and Data61, and coordinated from Everledger’s Brisbane base. received A$2,663,000 to help automate key reporting processes under the excise system, a commodity-based tax on goods including beer and spirits. This will help companies in the sector reduce compliance costs associated with the creation, storage and transportation of their products.

AgriDigital announced three partnerships

With a customer network of over 8,000 grain farmers, elevators, traders and processors, AgriDigital digitizes harvest, sales, trading, storage logistics and payment. The company has teamed up with Trader PhD to launch a U.S. distribution partnership synching its harvest and inventory management platform, Waypath, with Trader PhD’s Ag marketing services. Trader PhD’s grain advisory service gives farmers actionable advice to market and sell their grain. Waypath, AgriDigital’s harvest and inventory management platform for farmers, incorporates all aspects of grain supply chain management including contracts, deliveries, storage, payments and invoices in one app.

AgriDigital has also partnered with Genesis Feed Technologies (GFT) Seed to Feed supply chain and traceability project. Over summer and harvest 2021, GFT is bringing together nine global partners from across the supply chain to trace premium soybeans from seed to animal feed, with the ultimate aim of defining how farmers can be more profitable through production.

Grand Farm in Fargo, North Dakota will host the project. Soybean processing and consumption will take place 15 miles away at the Northern Crops Institute, located on the campus of North Dakota State University.

Finally, AgriDigital has integrated Waypath and Geora, enabling farmers to generate a digital record of their grain inventory on the blockchain when they make a grain delivery using Waypath. Farmers can push key data about the grain to buyers. Grain buyers can then pass this information further down the supply chain, all the way to the consumer. Geora provides secure blockchain-based infrastructure accessed through APIs to the agricultural and food supply chain to support inventory traceability and financing. It grew out of AgriDigital’s initial blockchain pilot work with Fletcher International Exports, CBH Limited and Rabobank Australia.

Etherisc won support for crop insurance project

The Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI) is supporting Etherisc’s project aimed at providing crop insurance to smallholder farmers based on blockchain technology in cooperation with ACRE Africa. Etherisc Impact B.V. received a grant from the CLI, an international, multi-stakeholder initiative at the intersection of climate change and blockchain technology. CLI is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), allowing the development of concrete use cases to foster digital innovations and climate action.

According to the CLI, blockchain’s decentralization, trust and consensus mechanisms, along with transparency, security and stakeholder integration it offers, make the technology suitable for implementing global climate policy under the Paris Agreement.

ChainlinkEthereum FoundationMercy Corps FinX and the Decentralized Insurance Foundation are also supporting Etherisc’s mission. Etherisc’s goal is to help ACRE Africa deliver sustainable solutions to protect farmers in Kenya and other African countries against the effects of climate change.

Chronicled partnered with Cardinal Health

Chronicled and Cardinal Health have partnered to leverage a new blockchain-powered solution on the MediLedger Network to streamline operations across the pharmaceutical supply chain and enable a reliable, frictionless experience for pharmacies across the U.S. The new blockchain solution will allow Cardinal Health – which distributes pharmaceuticals, and manufactures and distributes medical and laboratory products – to optimize the process of pharmaceutical chargebacks and create greater connectivity for its suppliers and customers.

San Francisco-based Chronicled, the administrator of the MediLedger Network, provides Cardinal Health and industry partners a shared decentralized infrastructure with real-time visibility to eliminate disputes and improve pricing accuracy. The blockchain-powered solution will enforce the accuracy and integrity of chargebacks submitted across Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical supply chain.

Chargeback (pricing) errors can occur for many reasons, but the result is always manual processing, duplicate effort, and back-and-forth communication between trading partners to resolve them. According to Chronicled, research studies have shown an estimated US$4 billion in revenue leakage for suppliers can be attributed to chargeback disputes. Suppliers, wholesalers and GPOs are looking for ways to reduce errors and streamline this process.

The Contracts & Chargebacks solution on the MediLedger Network will help Cardinal Health provide its partner suppliers and GPOs a single source of truth for GPO membership, customer identifier data and contract pricing data. The network itself then uses this aligned reference data to enforce chargeback accuracy.

Minerva Global implemented WAVE BL

Minerva Global, an international almond growing, processing and importing organization, has implemented WAVE BL’s digital document courier service to modernize traditional paper-based workflows. Working with WAVE BL, Minerva initiated a blockchain-based electronic bill of lading export transaction from the U.S. In this end-to-end digital transaction, the eBL and accompanying documents were cryptographically signed and transmitted within minutes using WAVE BL’s platform. Other parties to the transaction were ZIM, a global shipping carrier, and the final recipient, one of Minerva Global’s key customers. ZIM issued its electronic Bill of Lading for an almond shipment that sailed from Oakland, California to Tarragona, Spain. Minerva, the trader in the transaction, endorsed the bill of lading to the customer. The entire transaction was completed in under 24 hours.

The WAVE BL platform enables Minerva to interface with several shipping lines via a single platform. Minerva processes hundreds of bills of lading a day, and digitizing its paperwork will trim costs and minimize the risk of human errors, document loss, forgery and delays.

Maybank Singapore, Roy Hill,Triterras and iGTB implemented essDocs

Maybank Singapore, the Singapore arm of Malaysia’s largest banking group, went live with essDOCS’ CargoDocs ePresentation. It recently signed up for CargoDocs to support its corporate customers with the use of electronic presentation under eUCP Letters of Credit. essDOCS enables traders of any cargo-type to entirely or partially digitize trade operations and finance processes.

For the go-live transaction, Maybank Singapore acted as issuing bank on behalf of its customer, a Singapore-headquartered commodity trading house. The transaction involved the sale of iron ore in bulk, shipped from Australia to China, with a leading Australian mining company acting as shipper and an Australian-headquartered bank’s Hong Kong Branch acting as advising bank.

Australian iron ore mining company, Roy Hill, also went live with CargoDocs, successfully executing a series of shipments using electronic Bills of Lading (eB/Ls) for transactions on open account and under eUCP Letter of Credit payment terms. Roy Hill’s shipments involved bulk cargoes of iron ore lump and fines, exported from Australia to China and South Korea. All key trade stakeholders – exporter, agents, carrier, banks and importer – used CargoDocs to digitally draft, approve, sign, issue and transfer the original eB/L plus relevant supporting documents. 

Roy Hill also used CargoDocs’ ePresentation capabilities for its export shipments, with a leading Chinese trading and manufacturing conglomerate acting as buyer. The transaction was supported by a bank in China acting as issuing bank, and an Australian bank acting as advising bank on behalf Roy Hill. Trade document drafting, transfer and presentation times were slashed to minutes instead of days or weeks required in paper-based LC transactions, accelerating the trades and enabling swift discharge of the cargoes against original eDocs.

Triterras, a Singapore-based fintech company for trade and trade finance, is collaborating with essDOCS to accelerate the use of digital trade documents for Triterras’ global community of commodity traders. Triterras is building out end-to-end services for its online marketplace that connects and enables SME businesses, corporates, multinationals and their lenders to trade online and digitally finance their commodity trading, logistics operations and supply chains. Triterras will integrate essDOCS’ CargoDocs electronic document capabilities onto Kratos, enabling Triterras’ customers to create, review and approve paper or electronic bills of lading (eB/L) with their supply chain.

Finally, Intellect Global Transaction Banking (iGTB), a transaction banking specialist from Intellect Design Arena Limited, has partnered with essDocs to widen access to and adoption of trade digitalization solutions. Banks deploying iGTB Trade Finance, in combination with essDocs, can help their corporate customers extend their use of paperless trade. By synching with essDocs, iGTB bank and corporates can access CargoDocs’ document capabilities and use the solution for trade finance transactions under letters of credit (LCs), documentary collections and guarantees. This allows banks and corporates to access all data and documents under any given financing instrument in a single, secure platform.

CargoX partnered with Youredi

CargoX, the creator of the CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT), has partnered with Youredi, a provider of managed data integration services and solutions for logistics and the global supply chain. The partnership calls for Youredi to provide smooth data integration for all stakeholders joining the platform.

Youredi drives digital transformation through integration solutions for hundreds of companies worldwide, including the leading shippers, majority of carriers and service providers in supply chain and logistics. Its goal is to be the de facto data connectivity backbone in the supply chain and logistics industry worldwide. The company is focused on providing complete integration services that give its customers quality and timely data into their IT systems for data-driven business decision making.

Youredi’s customers need a cost-effective Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) service that can be deployed quickly and securely to realize maximum value across their business operations, partners and markets. Moreover, they want to monitor their performance in real time to fine-tune execution. The company’s services help companies scale, automate and become more efficient. The CargoX Platform fits into Youredi’s strategy and portfolio because it enables full supply chain document originality validation and transfer traceability, providing an immutable audit trail. 

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This post was written by Sententia Partners

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