Summary of Resolving the Blockchain Paradox in Transportation and Logistics

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Imagine a transport and logistics (T&L) industry uncluttered by checks and balances but just as reliable. That’s the vision of a team of Boston Consulting Group analysts, who make a strong case for why the T&L industry must resolve the trust paradox preventing it from adopting blockchain solutions. The technology could help your company cut costs and improve profit margins while operating better and faster.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the transport and logistic industry must overcome the trust paradox that prevents it from embracing blockchain, and 
  • What four steps individual companies can take toward adopting blockchain.

About the Authors

Andrew Schmahl, Sanjaya Mohottala, Kaj Burchardi, Camille Egloff, Jacqueline Govers, Ted Chan and Markos Giakoumelos are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.



A blockchain paradox afflicts the transportation and logistics (T&L) industry: Blockchain’s distributed, transparent ledgers could ease the distrust hampering industry collaborators, but that very distrust prevents them from embracing a blockchain solution. A 2018 survey of T&L business leaders showed that while most believed blockchain would reshape their industry in two to five years, 74% of them have considered blockchain solutions only “superficially” – or not at all. The executives cited poor industry coordination, a lack of in-house know-how and insufficient understanding of blockchain as barriers to adoption. In truth, blockchain is a simple concept – shared digital ledgers offering trust-building transparency. A well-crafted blockchain is tamper-proof, participants must approve changes, and information can’t be erased. Solving the T&L industry’s blockchain paradox would bring many benefits, including better-managed documents and data, optimized use of equipment, transparent pricing and booking, and improved “speed, traceability, cargo safety, and invoicing and payment processes.” Such improvements would help T&L companies cut costs and widen profit margins. Moreover, some blockchain adopters may innovate new business models such as sharing fleets or flexible staffing. Investments in T&L blockchain technology are growing, so fresh solutions may become available in one to three years. A firm or coalition of firms – as well as regulators and the government – must lead the industry toward a blockchain ecosystem that benefits the entire T&L “value chain,” but companies can also participate individually by completing four steps:

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