KMU-NetC Project

Hanseatic block chain innovations for logistics and supply chain management

HANSEBLOC is an KMU-centered FuE project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for testing and developing block chain solutions in the logistics context.

The Logistics Initiative Hamburg acts as the coordinator of the project.

Project period: April 2018 - March 2021

Funding programme: The project is co-financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the programme "Promotion of strategic SME innovation alliances in networks and clusters" (KMU-NetC) "KMU-NetC" is part of the concept "Right of way for SMEs - The BMBF's Ten-Point Programme for more innovation in SMEs".

Project budget: Total approximately EUR 3.1 million, of which the BMBF will provide approximately EUR 1.9 million in funding

The HANSEBLOC consortium consists of a total of ten North German partners from the network of the Logistics Initiative Hamburg, including

The Logistics Initiative Hamburg is acting as the coordinator of the project.

Associated partners

Photo: Members of the HANSEBLOC consortium, ©Logistics Initiative Hamburg

So far, transport accompanying documents, consignment notes and customs documents of transport and logistics companies are still exchanged in paper form, via e-mail and cloud services as well as freight exchanges. However, these forms are not counterfeit-proof and due to the different software solutions also error-prone. With the HANSEBLOC project, sustainable solutions are now to be found using blockchain technology. 

In addition, we have developed the "Sensorchain" concept, which allows data from sensors to be secured via a blockchain, which builds them independently and exchanges data via Bluetooth. The manipulation of sensors, e. g. to avoid expensive cooling of goods, is thus made significantly more difficult. The sensorchain serves as a secure, trusted data source for each blockchain and has versatile applications. 

The HANSEBLOC platform will serve as the basic framework for logistics by documenting the transport of all goods in an identity-protecting manner. In the future, it should be possible for other service providers to write applications for the HANSEBLOC platform and expand its functionality. For example, insurance companies can insure transports automatically and conveniently via the platform. 


In order to develop new market potentials, SMEs are particularly challenged to renew their processes, products and services and also their business models. SMEs achieve such innovative strength above all in networks and clusters, for example. In the "SME-NetC" funding measure, sophisticated research, development and innovation networks and clusters with significant participation by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are funded. The collaborations are geared to the needs of SMEs and the innovation strategies or technology roadmaps of the networks and clusters. "SME-NetC" is part of the concept "Right of way for SMEs - The BMBF's Ten-Point Programme for More Innovation in SMEs". With this concept, which is embedded in the "New High-Tech Strategy of the Federal Government - Innovations for Germany", the BMBF is promoting new ideas, new application possibilities and new business models, and is working towards the broad dissemination and use of research results and model solutions among SMEs.

Goals and procedure:

An unsolved problem in the fields of transport, logistics and in particular in freight forwarding is the forgery-proof transmission of information between the participants in the logistics chain. Transport accompanying documents, bills of lading and customs documents are today exchanged via e-mail and cloud services as well as via freight exchanges in addition to the classic paper form. Although there are numerous software solutions and interfaces, there are hardly any uniform standards, so interoperability is limited. The HANSEBLOC project aims to provide a sustainable solution to this problem using block chain technology. This is a new approach for fully automated business relations based on the execution guarantee. The project builds on existing systems in the field of freight forwarding and transport management and extends them by the secure electronic exchange of freight documents. This eliminates data losses caused by media disruptions and enables automated cross-organizational processes.

Cluster or network integration:

The project integrates the Hamburg Logistics Initiative, which was launched in 2006 with the aim of expanding the role of the Hamburg metropolitan region as Northern Europe's leading logistics metropolis and has achieved the gold status of "Cluster Management Excellence" in 2014 - the highest level of a recognised European seal of quality for clusters and networks. Within the LIHH guideline "Innovation and Value Creation", the digitization of logistic processes and traffic management is a major content of the innovation cluster and employs the majority of the more than 550 network members in their daily business. The joint project HANSEBLOC opens up new opportunities for the future strategic implementation of block chain technology based on the application areas of land, sea and air transport, thus making a valuable contribution to the implementation of the cluster strategy.

Perspective of innovation:

The aim of the project is to make logistics chains more transparent and automated by using blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and at the same time reduce the number of media breaks. This innovation ensures freedom from manipulation and trustworthiness of information. The information that arises in the further course of transport (data on border crossings, transport transfers, changes of modality, etc.) is integrated into the data flow via so-called Smart Oracles as interfaces between the digital and the physical world, also in a secure, trustworthy and manipulation-resistant manner. The contractual logic is stored in Smart Contracts. The desired solution scenario consists of a combination of the four components - consignment note, Smart Contracts, block chain and Smart Oracles. In contrast to other projects, this project focuses strongly on local, but expandable solutions. These are to be put into operation not only as prototypes, but in full within a manageable timeframe, thus resulting in an advantage for the companies involved in the Logistics Initiative Hamburg.

In August 2019, based on the findings of the HANSEBLOC project, a scientific publication on the topic "Licensing chain - an identity-protecting licence trading platform for intellectual property" was published by HAW Hamburg. The paper can be downloaded here (fee required, not barrier-free).

The Kühne Logistics University (KLU) has published a scientific paper on the topic "Impact and Beneficiaries of Blockchain in Logistics" as a conference paper within the Hamburg International Conference of Logistics (HICL) in September 2019. This paper was also developed within the HANSEBLOC project and is available for download here.

In February 2020 a scientific publication on the HANSEBLOC Privacy Concept was published. The publication can be downloaded here.
A final blog post from project partner itemis AG can be found here.

On 26.11.2020 the HANSEBLOC final conference do-inovation: Blockchain for and by SMEs took place as an online conference. The corresponding press release can be found here. On the occasion of the final conference a project video was also published, you can find it here.

The project has been completed since 01.04.2021 and is currently in the project completion phase. It is expected that you will find the final project report(s) here in the fall of 2021.

You are active in the area of block chain, have questions on the topic or would like to implement or discuss a project idea in the area of block chain, digitalisation or IT innovation together with our network? Then you are welcome to contact us!



KMU-NetC support programme