Blockchain-enabled logistics finance execution platform for capital-constrained E-commerce retail

Ming Li, Saijun Shao, Qiwen Ye, Gangyan Xu, George Q. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the most prevailing retail channels, E-commerce has nowadays facilitated retailers to sell goods to customers worldwide and tremendously increased the supply chain efficiency by removing most intermediate links. The broaden business scope and accelerated goods circulation, nevertheless, have generally led to capital shortages for retailers, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Given the SMEs’ difficulty in acquiring capital from financial institutions such as banks, logistics finance (LF) has emerged as an alternative, which is the combination of logistics and financial service. However, the frequent order fulfillment and diversity of pledges in E-commerce hinder SMEs in meeting LF's financing requirements. Furthermore, the current LF relies more on large and reputable third-party logistics (3PLs) to alleviate financing risks, which in turn raises the entry threshold for other 3PLs. Hence, this paper has proposed a blockchain-enabled logistics finance execution platform (BcLFEP) as an integrated solution to facilitate LF for E-commerce retail. A cross-layered architecture is proposed to organize and manage involved resources, workflows and decisions based on the object-oriented methodology (OOM). A hybrid finite state machine-based smart contract (HFSM-SC) is designed to associate and coordinate with all kinds of agents for LF operations throughout its lifecycle. Moreover, blockchain is integrated with agent technology to construct a blockchain-enabled multi-agent system (BcMAS), providing a trusted runtime environment to more autonomously and efficiently execute smart contract. Finally, a case study is conducted to implement BcLFEP-enabled dynamic pledge management for verification and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101962
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Blockchain agent
  • E-commerce retail
  • Logistics finance
  • Multi-agent system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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