Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

Editor-in-Chief: Conrad, Stefan

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 60, Issue 5-6


Mapping the sea of opportunities: Blockchain in supply chain and logistics

Moritz PetersenORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2046-848X / Niels Hackius
  • Hamburg University of Technology, Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, D-21073, Hamburg, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Birgit von See
  • Hamburg University of Technology, Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, D-21073, Hamburg, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0031


Driven by successful pilot projects in supply chain and logistics, Blockchain has become one of the industry’s latest technology hypes. In this paper, we cut through the hype and shed light on the expectations of industry professionals towards the benefits and challenges of Blockchain. Also, we categorize current Blockchain applications that are expected to provide tangible benefits for supply chain and logistics processes. To explore such potentials, we argue that companies should gain own first-hand experiences through small-scale experiments.

Keywords: Blockchain; application; logistics; supply chain; survey

ACM CCS: Applied computing; Operations research; Industries and manufacturing; Supply chain management


  • 1.

    Myo Min Aung and Yoon Seok Chang. Traceability in a food supply chain: Safety and quality perspectives. Food Control, 39(1):172–184, 2014.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 2.

    Steve Banker. Blockchain in The Supply Chain: Too Much Hype. Forbes, September 1st, 2017.

  • 3.

    Donald Bowersox, David Closs, M. Cooper, and M. Bixby. Supply Chain Logistics Management. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston, MA, 3rd edition, 2010.Google Scholar

  • 4.

    Martin Christopher. Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Financial Times Prentice Hall, Harlow, 4th edition, 2011.Google Scholar

  • 5.

    Michael del Castillo. Microsoft Unveils Project Manifest, A Plan For Blockchain Product Tracking. CoinDesk, January, 2017.

  • 6.

    Ben Dickson. Blockchain Has the Potential to Revolutionize the Supply Chain. Techcrunch, November 24th, 2016.

  • 7.

    Mathieu Dougados and Boris Felgendreher. The Current and Future State of Digital Supply Chain Transformation. New York, 2016.Google Scholar

  • 8.

    Frank Farrall, Claire Harding, Robert Hillard, John O’Mahony, Ric Simes, and Damien Tampling. Digital disruption - Short fuse, big bang? Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 9.

    Stanley E. Fawcett and Gregory M. Magnan. The Rhetoric and Reality of Supply Chain Integration. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 32(5):339–361, 2002.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 10.

    Luca Mattia Gelsomino, Riccardo Mangiaracina, Alessandro Perego, and Angela Tumino. Supply Chain Finance: A Literature Review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(4):348–366, 2016.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 11.

    Tom Groenfeldt. IBM And Maersk Apply Blockchain To Container Shipping. Forbes, March 5th, 2017.

  • 12.

    Niels Hackius and Moritz Petersen. Blockchain in Logistics and SCM: Trick or Treat? In Proceedings of Hamburg International Conference of Logistics, 2017.Google Scholar

  • 13.

    Joseph F. Hair, William C. Black, Barry J. Babin, and Rolph E. Anderson. Multivariate Data Analysis. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2009.Google Scholar

  • 14.

    Kai Hoberg and Knut Alicke. How SC4.0 will Enhance the Customer Experience. Supply Chain Management Review, (September/October):28–37, 2016.Google Scholar

  • 15.

    Erik Hofmann, Urs Magnus Strewe, and Nicola Bosia. Supply Chain Finance and Blockchain Technology: The Case of Reverse Securitisation. Springer, Cham, 2017.Google Scholar

  • 16.

    Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani. The Truth About Blockchain. Harvard Business Review, 95(1):118–127, 2017.Google Scholar

  • 17.

    Wolfgang Kersten, Mischa Seiter, Birgit von See, Niels Hackius, and Timo Maurer. Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Digital Transformation Opportunities. DVV Media Group, Hamburg, 2017.Google Scholar

  • 18.

    Susan Lacefield. Pilot project connects blockchain and “smart” pallets. CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly, September, 2017.

  • 19.

    Douglas M Lambert. Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance. Supply Chain Management Institute, Sarasota, 3rd edition, 2008.Google Scholar

  • 20.

    Paul D Larson, Richard F Poist, and Árni Halldórsson. Perspectives on Logistics vs. SCM: A Survey of SCM Professionals. Journal of Business Logistics, 28(1):1–24, 2007.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 21.

    Jim Manning. Microsoft’s Project Manifest: Blockchain-Based Product Tracking. ETHNews, January, 2017.

  • 22.

    Jennifer McKevitt. Foxconn turns to blockchain to help suppliers avoid financial disruption. SupplyChainDIVE, March 14th, 2017.

  • 23.

    Adam W. Meade and S. Bartholomew Craig. Identifying Careless Responses in Survey Data. Psychological Methods, 17(3):437–455, 2012.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 24.

    Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. 2008.Google Scholar

  • 25.

    Kevin O’Marah. Blockchain For Supply Chain: Enormous Potential Down The Road. Forbes, March 9th, 2017.

  • 26.

    Luke Parker. Hyperledger used to track US oil on a blockchain. Brave New Coin, March 30th, 2017.

  • 27.

    Marc Pilkington. Blockchain Technology: Principles and Applications. In F. Xavier Olleros and Majlinda Zhegu, editors, Research Handbook on Digital Transformations, pages 1–39. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.Google Scholar

  • 28.

    Nathaniel Popper and Steve Lohr. Blockchain: A Better Way to Track Pork Chops, Bonds, Bad Peanut Butter?. New York Times, March 4th, 2017.

  • 29.

    Pete Rizzo. World’s Largest Mining Company to Use Blockchain for Supply Chain. Coindesk, September 23rd, 2016.

  • 30.

    Roy D Shapiro and James L Heskett. Logistics Strategy: Cases and Concepts. West Pub. Co, St. Paul, MI, 1985.Google Scholar

  • 31.

    Aaron Stanley. IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial. Coindesk, April 11th, 2017.

  • 32.

    Stephan M. Wagner. Innovation Management in the German Transportation Industry. Journal of Business Logistics, 29(2):215–231, sep 2008.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 33.

    Jesse Yli-Huumo, Deokyoon Ko, Sujin Choi, Sooyong Park, and Kari Smolander. Where Is Current Research on Blockchain Technology? - A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 11(10):1–27, 2016.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 34.

    J. Leon Zhao, Shaokun Fan, and Jiaqi Yan. Overview of Business Innovations and Research Opportunities in Blockchain and Introduction to the Special Issue. Financial Innovation, 2(28):1–7, 2016.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 35.

    Wolfie Zhao. Australia’s Biggest Grain Exporter Trials Blockchain Tracking System. Coindesk, August 3rd, 2017.

About the article

Moritz Petersen

Dr. Moritz Petersen is a Senior Researcher at Kuehne Logistics University (KLU) in Hamburg, Germany. He holds a doctoral degree in engineering from Hamburg University of Technology. At KLU, his research is focused on sustainability and technology applications in logistics systems and the knowledge transfer into industry projects. Since 2016, he investigates the application of Blockchain technology in supply chain and logistics. He has published several articles in academic journals.

Niels Hackius

Niels Hackius is a Research Associate at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany. Having been in contact with crypto currencies as early as 2013, the 2016 TEDxHamburg talk “New Kids on the Blockchain” inspired him to explore the intersection of Blockchain’s features and supply chain and logistics processes. As a Master of Science in Medical Engineering he conducts research at TUHH’s Institute of Business Logistics and General Management since 2013.

Birgit von See

Birgit von See is a Research Associate at Hamburg University of Technology, Germany. Holding a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering Management, she conducts research on trends and innovations in supply chain and logistics at the Institute of Business Logistics and General Management since 2013. Her doctoral research focuses on digital transformation in supply chain and logistics.

Received: 2017-09-30

Revised: 2018-04-14

Accepted: 2018-10-01

Published Online: 2018-10-10

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 60, Issue 5-6, Pages 263–271, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0031.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Vittorio Astarita, Vincenzo Pasquale Giofrè, Giovanni Mirabelli, and Vittorio Solina
Information, 2019, Volume 11, Number 1, Page 21
Zvonko Merkaš, Davor Perkov, and Vesna Bonin
International Journal of E-Services and Mobile Applications, 2020, Volume 12, Number 1, Page 1
Wenting Zhao, Jun Lv, Xilong Yao, Juanjuan Zhao, Zhixin Jin, Yan Qiang, Zheng Che, and Chunwu Wei
Energies, 2019, Volume 12, Number 20, Page 3812
İsmail Bakan and Zümrüt Hatice Şekkeli
OPUS Uluslararası Toplum Araştırmaları Dergisi, 2019
Federico Matteo Bencic, Pavle Skocir, and Ivana Podnar Zarko
IEEE Access, 2019, Volume 7, Page 46198

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in