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Digitalizing the Closing-of-the-Loop for Supply Chains: A Transportation and Blockchain Perspective

Abstract : The circular economy is gaining in importance globally and locally. The COVID-19 crisis, as an exceptional event, showed the limits and the fragility of supply chains, with circular economy practices as a potential solution during and post-COVID. Reverse logistics (RL) is an important dimension of the circular economy which allows management of economic, social, and environmental challenges. Transportation is needed for RL to effectively operate, but research study on this topic has been relatively limited. New digitalization opportunities can enhance transportation and RL, and therefore further enhance the circular economy. This paper proposes to review practical research and concerns at the nexus of transportation, RL, and blockchain as a digitalizing technology. The potential benefits of blockchain technology through example use cases on various aspects of RL and transportation activities are presented. This integration and applications are evaluated using various capability facets of blockchain technology, particularly as an immutable and reliable ledger, a tracking service, a smart contract utility, as marketplace support, and as tokenization and incentivization. We also briefly introduce the physical internet concept within this context. The physical internet paradigm proposed last decade, promises to also disrupt the blockchain, transportation, and RL nexus. We include potential research directions and managerial implications across the blockchain, transportation, and RL nexus.
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Contributor : Kathleen Torck Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 4:04:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 3:07:31 AM

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Abdelghani Bekrar, Abdessamad Ait El Cadi, Raca Todosijević, Joseph Sarkis. Digitalizing the Closing-of-the-Loop for Supply Chains: A Transportation and Blockchain Perspective. Sustainability, MDPI, 2021, 13 (5), pp.2895. ⟨10.3390/su13052895⟩. ⟨hal-03396187⟩



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