Blockchain technology may be closely related to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but the technology is also having a good effect on the supply chain.
Packagers use blockchain to improve package tracking, increase security, and better accommodate demand for transparency in the supply chain.
Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger that uses a P2P (peer-to-peer) network, allowing users to aggregate “block” record actions and transactions.
There may be several ways that blockchain could affect the packaging industry. It is estimated that there could be three areas where the packaging industry could feel the impact of blockchain.
Those three areas would be:
● Tracking, package tracking
● Facilitate consumer awareness
● Protection of brands against counterfeit production
It is suggested that blockchain technology is poised for a rapid adoption rate as advancements appear to simplify access to the technology.
Historically, controlling packages relied on the physical paperwork and security measures that traveled with the products. Blockchain alters the paradigm, allowing packages to communicate with the web, end users, and the supply chain itself.
Instead of packing slips and bills of lading that provide security, serial numbers, barcodes, RFID, additional security features and other steps are now used to convey authenticity. As technology continues to produce capabilities, QR codes and smartphones are also achieving direct engagement between shoppers and product packaging.
The product packaging fulfills several functions; one of its most vital functions is to inform consumers. As the call for broader transparency continues to gather momentum, the consumer urge to know the product and its provenance seems insatiable. It is believed that up to 50% of shoppers want more information about the products they buy.
In response to consumer mandate, blockchain is powering label data, providing more opportunities for manufacturers to connect with shoppers.
Furthermore, Blockchain adds efficient packaging traceability to food supply chains. In supply chain applications, it could also be used on packages to communicate electronic data interchange (EDI) codes and more.
Since checkpoints become paperless and any required product-related information can be accessed on the spot.
Whereas tracing the origins of foodborne illness used to take days or even weeks, it can now be verified almost instantly simply by scanning a barcode or QR code. It’s also worth noting that with blockchain, records can never be retroactively altered, meaning all information in the ledger is authenticated by default.
Given access to scannable codes, end users will soon be able to authenticate each of your brand promises simply by pointing their phone at its packaging. Blockchain, more than any other technology before it, is an incredibly useful tool for building brand trust.
With the blockchain-powered supply chain, your packaging becomes a new kind of brand ambassador, one that isn’t bound by corporate claims or the bottom line.
(By Mr. Gaurav Jalan, Founder of Packman Packaging)