Distributed Ledger Technologies in Supply Chain Security Management: A Comprehensive Survey

Mary Asante, Gregory Epiphaniou, Carsten Maple, Haider Al-Khateeb, Mirko Bottarelli, Kayhan Zrar Ghafoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Supply chains (SC) present performance bottlenecks that contribute to a high level of costs, infiltration of product quality, and impact productivity. Examples of such inhibitors include the bullwhip effect, new product lines, high inventory, and restrictive data flows. These bottlenecks can force manufacturers to source more raw materials and increase production significantly. Also, restrictive data flow in a complex global SC network generally slows down the movement of goods and services. The use of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in SC management (SCM) demonstrates the potentials to reduce these bottlenecks through transparency, decentralization, and optimizations in data management. These technologies promise to enhance the trustworthiness of entities within the SC, ensure the accuracy of data-driven operations, and enable existing SCM processes to migrate from a linear to a fully circular economy. This article presents a comprehensive review of 111 articles published in the public domain in the use and efficacy of DLT in SC. It acts as a roadmap for current and future researchers who focus on SC security management to better understand the integration of digital technologies such as DLT. We clustered these articles using standard descriptors linked to trustworthiness, namely, immutability, transparency, traceability, and integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-739
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Bitcoin
  • Cyber resilience
  • Distributed ledger
  • Privacy
  • Resilience
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Smart contracts
  • data sharing
  • distributed ledger technology
  • industry 4.0
  • supply chain (SC) management
  • trustworthiness


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