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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Information 2017, 8(4), 137;

A Distributed Ledger for Supply Chain Physical Distribution Visibility

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Indiana University-Purdue University, 723 W. Michigan St, SL 160, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
The Dow Chemical Company, 715 East Main St., Midland, MI 48674, USA
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in the 37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW), 2017.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [956 KB, uploaded 2 November 2017]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: blockchain; supply chain; distributed databases; peer-to-peer networks blockchain; supply chain; distributed databases; peer-to-peer networks

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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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Wu, H.; Li, Z.; King, B.; Ben Miled, Z.; Wassick, J.; Tazelaar, J. A Distributed Ledger for Supply Chain Physical Distribution Visibility. Information 2017, 8, 137.

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