The COVID-19 has revealed the extent to which the global supply chain is disconnected, something that blockchain will be able fix, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Ports and supply chains around the world have seen their volumes crash as a result of the pandemic, in particular those in southeast Asia and the West Coast of the US, Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The WEF said the supply chain had been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that economies and ecosystems had been “dislocated” as a result.
“What has become abundantly clear over the last three months is a general lack of connectivity and data exchange built into our global supply chains,” the WEF said.
This is a phenomenon it described as “staggering” considering the prominence of fourth industrial revolution (4IR) era and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that are currently available.
“The fact we can track our Uber driver but not shipment placed three weeks ago from a department store less than 10 miles from our home is startling, humiliating and needs addressing,” it said.
However, the WEF said blockchain could be the answer to the supply chain’s problem as the technology is already helping to track and trace medical supplies to areas most badly affected by the pandemic. This, the WEF said is “improving the efficiency of movement permits to residents in a near-future of controlled social movement.”
It went on to say that “visibility, traceability, and interoperability of blockchain platforms to fortify, better connect and improve the resilience of supply chains will also be critical to getting the recovery underway in the world beyond the COVID-19 crisis.”