Smart contract-based approach for efficient shipment management

Haya Hasan, Esra AlHadhrami, Alia AlDhaheri, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Efficient tracking of shipments is critical in managing global trade and logistics activities. The volume of global container movement combined with information opaqueness and process complexity necessitates implementing a robust technology solution with real time tracking capabilities. Blockchain is an emerging technology that offers the necessary platform to track and manage shipment movements in the supply chain using a peer-to-peer, secured, distributed ledger, and without intermediaries or trusted third parties. In this paper, we propose a blockchain-based solution for efficient supply chain management involving items shipped via smart containers. Our proposed solution utilizes the features of smart contracts in Ethereum blockchain to govern and manage interactions between the sender and receiver. Shipped items are included in smart containers equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that can be used to track and monitor predefined shipping conditions related to temperature, geographical location, humidity, pressure, light exposure, sudden fall, broken seal, etc. Ethereum smart contracts are used to manage shipment conditions, automate payments, legitimize receiver and also issue a refund in case of violations to predefined conditions. In the paper, we present and discuss key aspects related to architectural design, entity relations, interactions among participants, information flow, implementation and testing of the overall system functionality with a potential business case applied to vaccine supply chain. The Smart contracts were implemented in Solidity language and tested using Remix IDE environment, the code has been made publicly available for academic, research and practice community.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Blockchain
  • Ethereum
  • Internet of things
  • IoT
  • Smart contracts
  • Supply chain management


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