Blockchain for Trucking Supply Chain Transparency

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Blockchain for supply chain transparency involves using blockchain technology to create a shared, secure, and transparent record of goods throughout their journey. This distributed ledger system allows for the tracking and tracing of goods from origin to destination, providing a verifiable and tamper-proof record of every transaction and event in the supply chain.

Impact on climate action

Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency enhances climate action by providing verifiable data on emissions, fostering accountability among trucking companies. Transparent supply chains enable efficient tracking of carbon footprints, incentivizing low-carbon practices. By promoting accountability and transparency, it drives the adoption of eco-friendly technologies, reducing overall carbon emissions in the transportation sector.


  • Distributed Ledger: A blockchain is a distributed ledger, meaning that a copy of the record is stored across multiple computers in a network. This decentralized approach makes it highly resistant to tampering and manipulation.
  • Immutability: Once data is recorded on a blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted, creating a permanent and verifiable record of events.
  • Transparency: All participants in a blockchain network have access to the same data, promoting transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain.
  • Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing agreements written in code and stored on the blockchain. They can automate transactions and processes, eliminating the need for intermediaries and improving efficiency.
  • Cryptographic Security: Blockchain technology uses cryptography to ensure data security and prevent unauthorized access or manipulation.

TRL : 5-6 (Rapidly Growing)

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Real-Time Tracking: Blockchain can enable real-time tracking of goods as they move through the supply chain, providing visibility into their location, temperature, and other critical parameters.
  • Provenance Verification: Blockchain can verify the origin and authenticity of goods, ensuring that products are sourced ethically and sustainably.
  • Reduced Fraud and Counterfeiting: The immutable nature of blockchain technology makes it difficult to falsify or manipulate data, reducing the risk of fraud and counterfeiting.
  • Improved Supply Chain Efficiency: Blockchain can streamline supply chain processes by automating transactions, reducing paperwork, and improving communication between stakeholders.
  • Carbon Footprint Tracking: Blockchain can be used to track the carbon footprint of goods throughout the supply chain, enabling companies to identify areas for emission reduction and promote sustainable logistics practices.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Decentralized Supply Chain Management
  • Immutable Record Keeping
  • Transparent Traceability Solutions
  • Automated Transaction Execution
  • Cryptographically Secured Data
  • Blockchain-enabled Real-Time Tracking
  • Ethical Provenance Verification
  • Anti-Fraud Measures with Blockchain
  • Sustainability-focused Logistics
  • Blockchain for Emission Reduction
  • Secure Data Sharing in Supply Chains
  • Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility
  • Trustworthy Product Authentication
  • Supply Chain Integrity Assurance
  • Blockchain-driven Fraud Prevention
  • Sustainable Goods Tracking
  • Carbon Footprint Monitoring
  • Blockchain-enabled Supply Chain Optimization

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  • Circulor:
    • Technology Focus: Circulor specializes in leveraging blockchain technology to bring transparency and traceability to global supply chains, particularly in industries like automotive, electronics, and mining. Their solutions aim to track the provenance of raw materials and ensure ethical sourcing practices.
    • Uniqueness: Circulor stands out for its focus on social responsibility and sustainability within the supply chain. They offer innovative blockchain-based solutions that enable companies to verify the origin of materials, track carbon emissions, and ensure compliance with environmental and labor standards.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments include industries where supply chain transparency is crucial for ethical sourcing, compliance with regulations, and brand reputation management, such as electronics manufacturing, automotive production, and mining operations.
  • Provenance:
    • Technology Focus: Provenance specializes in using blockchain and other technologies to provide transparency and traceability in supply chains, with a focus on food and beverage, fashion, and consumer goods industries. Their solutions enable consumers to track the journey of products from source to shelf.
    • Uniqueness: Provenance is known for its consumer-centric approach, empowering shoppers to make informed purchasing decisions by accessing detailed information about product origins, production processes, and sustainability credentials through blockchain-enabled transparency.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments encompass industries where consumer trust and transparency are paramount, including food and beverage, fashion, cosmetics, and consumer goods.
  • IBM Food Trust:
    • Technology Focus: IBM Food Trust is an initiative by IBM leveraging blockchain technology to enhance transparency and traceability in the food supply chain. Their platform enables participants across the food industry to securely share data and track the flow of products from farm to fork.
    • Uniqueness: IBM Food Trust is unique for its collaborative approach, bringing together various stakeholders in the food industry, including retailers, suppliers, and regulators, to build a more transparent and efficient supply chain ecosystem powered by blockchain technology.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments primarily include food producers, retailers, distributors, and consumers concerned about food safety, authenticity, and sustainability.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. University of Cambridge:
    • Technology Enhancements: Researchers at the University of Cambridge are pioneering the integration of blockchain technology into the logistics and transportation sector to enhance supply chain transparency in low carbon trucking. They are developing blockchain-based platforms that enable real-time tracking and verification of low carbon transportation activities.
    • Uniqueness of Research: The University of Cambridge’s approach involves leveraging blockchain’s decentralized ledger system to create an immutable record of low carbon trucking activities, including vehicle emissions, fuel sources, and route optimization strategies. This transparent and tamper-proof system enhances trust among stakeholders and facilitates the adoption of sustainable transportation practices.
    • End-use Applications: The research at the University of Cambridge has implications for various stakeholders in the logistics and transportation industry, including trucking companies, shippers, regulators, and consumers. By providing visibility into the environmental performance of low carbon trucking operations, the blockchain-based platform can incentivize sustainable practices and drive market demand for eco-friendly transportation solutions.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Technology Enhancements: MIT researchers are exploring the potential of blockchain technology to optimize supply chain management in the context of low carbon trucking. They are developing blockchain-based solutions that enable secure and transparent transactions between different stakeholders in the transportation ecosystem, including carriers, manufacturers, and retailers.
    • Uniqueness of Research: MIT’s approach involves integrating blockchain with other emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smart contracts to automate and streamline logistics processes. By digitizing and automating supply chain operations, MIT aims to reduce administrative overhead, minimize delays, and improve overall efficiency in low carbon trucking.
    • End-use Applications: The research at MIT has applications across various sectors, including retail, manufacturing, and logistics. By improving supply chain visibility and transparency, the blockchain-based solutions developed at MIT can help companies optimize inventory management, reduce transportation costs, and mitigate environmental impact associated with low carbon trucking.
  3. Stanford University:
    • Technology Enhancements: Stanford University researchers are at the forefront of developing blockchain-enabled solutions for enhancing transparency and traceability in low carbon trucking supply chains. They are exploring novel blockchain architectures and consensus mechanisms to ensure data integrity and security in decentralized transportation networks.
    • Uniqueness of Research: Stanford’s research emphasizes the role of blockchain in creating a trusted and decentralized platform for verifying the authenticity and sustainability of low carbon trucking practices. They are developing cryptographic techniques and privacy-preserving protocols to protect sensitive information while enabling data sharing and collaboration among stakeholders.
    • End-use Applications: The research outcomes from Stanford University have broad applications in the logistics, retail, and food industries. By leveraging blockchain for supply chain transparency, companies can improve product traceability, ensure compliance with regulatory standards, and build consumer trust in sustainable transportation practices.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Blockchain technology is being increasingly adopted by companies in the trucking industry and across various supply chains. Circulor is working with several companies to track the sourcing and production of materials, promoting transparency and sustainability. Provenance is working with fashion brands and other consumer goods companies to provide transparent and traceable supply chains. The Food Trust is being used by major food retailers and manufacturers to enhance food safety and traceability.