Transportation News

UPS Blockchain Patent to Route Packages through International Supply Chains via Multiple Carriers

United Parcel Service has applied for a patent where systems and methods are provided for the automated determination and facilitation of a transportation plan for transporting a shipment unit containing at least one shipment unit through one or more transportation networks corresponding to one or more carriers.

UPS Blockchain Patent

As reported by CCN (formerly CryptoCoinsNews), century-old delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS) believes that blockchain technology could help streamline package delivery logistics across a global supply chain.

According to documents published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) last Thursday, the Georgia-based UPS has applied for a patent that utilizes blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to route packages throughout an international supply chain that may include multiple carriers.

The patent application, which UPS originally filed on February 16, 2017, explains that while shipping logistics providers have become quite adept at optimizing package routing to increase efficiency and minimize costs, it is still difficult to coordinate logistics for shipments that involve more than one logistics service provider transportation network.

As the patent authors explained (USPTO Application 20180232693):

“Generally, when a shipment unit is received by a logistics service provider for transporting from an origin to a destination, the logistics service provider determines a routing of the shipment unit through the logistics service provider's transportation network. However, the shipment unit may need to travel through and/or to a region of the world not serviced by the logistics service provider. For example, a shipment unit may be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to a delivery address in China. Therefore, there may be scenarios in which it is advantageous for various logistics service providers to transport the shipment unit along different legs/segments from its origin to its destination. However, it may be difficult to coordinate the transportation of the shipment unit through the various logistics service provider transportation networks. Moreover, if there are special handling requirements for transporting the shipment unit, it may be difficult to ensure that the special handling requirements are carried through by each of the various logistics service providers that may assist in transporting the shipment unit.”

UPS aims to tackle this problem with an autonomous system that, in some embodiments, uses an immutable blockchain ledger to automatically route packages through multiple logistics service provider networks.

Once a package has been scanned into a packaging facility, the system will automatically select a route based on the service offerings of network-connected shipping providers. As the package travels to its destination, information about the shipment will be recorded in the blockchain ledger, allowing the system to rate whether service providers are meeting the obligations of their respective service offerings.

The patent authors note that, in some forms, the system could be built to accommodate interlocked DLT networks that use smart contracts to pay various parties within the supply chain as they fulfill their obligations within a particular leg of the shipment. If built on top of a public blockchain network, that system could even use decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ether to handle those value transfers.

In November 2017, UPS announced that it had joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) to create industry standards and protocols to enable blockchain platforms to operate together with established technologies.

Related Article: Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential in Your Supply Chain

Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential in Your Supply Chain

Related Blockchain White Papers

Download the White Paper

Bridge to Blockchain: A Platform for Orchestrating Multi-Enterprise Networks New!
In this white paper, you will learn why blockchain platforms vary widely in terms capability, disclosure, confidentiality, anonymity, the cost to use, and speed, and why companies need to leverage more than one blockchain network to realize game-changing business models. Download Now!


Download the White Paper

Can Blockchain Revolutionize the Supply Chain?
In this white paper Ranjit Notani, One Network CTO examines Blockchain’s powerful potential as well as a major problem and whether and how Blockchains can revolutionize the Supply Chain. Download Now!


More Resources on Blockchain


Article Topics
Trends   Transportation   Transportation Management   Blockchain   Shipping   Software   All topics


Comments
Be the first to post a comment.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

 
Latest Transportation News
New Digital Supply Chains are Powered by Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics
Using AI and machine learning rather than using business-based rules to manage small parcel, ltl, truckload, intermodal, air and ocean shipments, the NextGen Transportation Management Systems bring a level…

Managing Online Shipping & Returns Expectations
How do you offer generous shipping and returns policies on your website to help first-time visitors feel more at ease about buying from an unknown brand, and do so without going broke?

Transportation & Supply Chain Predictions for 2019
For 2019, we believe the U.S. transportation industry and supply chain professionals will place more emphasis on digitization within the supply chain to help them address future complex challenges.

Developing a Less-than-Truckload & Ecommerce Focused Shipping Strategy
Companies must embrace the combined nature of omnichannel to realize its benefits, and the same is true of combined less-than-truckload and e-commerce shipping strategies.


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles