Global Shipping Giant UPS Submits New Blockchain Data Tracking Patent

UPS Obtains Blockchain Patent to Deal with Tracking Shipments

Package delivery and SCM firm, UPS has supposedly been considering the likes of blockchain technology to better facilitate and track global packages. To make this a reality, the firm filed for a patent with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on February 16. The details on the patent dubbed, “Autonomous services selection system and distributed transportation database(s)” have been made available on August 16.

According to UPS, there still remains a lot of problems when it comes to global shipments. In particular, a shipment typically reaches a logistics service provider, who takes on the responsibility of “routing the shipment” via their “transportation networks”.

Some of the problems with the system include an underdeveloped network (i.e. not supporting services to specific locations), the inability to “coordinate the transportation of the shipment” in the event that a different and beneficial route must be taken and essential “special handling requirements,” to name a few. Most importantly, UPS has seen customers urging for efficient tracking systems, which is difficult when it comes to global shipments.

This is where the blockchain technology might fit well for the package delivery firm and according to the patent, the distributed ledger will play a vital role. The patent revealed that data of “receiving and storing data in a distributed ledger shipment unit data comprising an origin, a destination and transportation parameters” will be an ideal solution to the several problems at hand.

The UPS team also sees the need for smart contracts for related shipping services and shipment unit handling” as being a must. This especially applies to “tracking a first set of shipment units and second set of shipment unites associated with the first.”

In addition to the technological side of things, the patent also noted the potential use of cryptocurrencies, namely that of Bitcoin [BTC], and Ethereum [ETH] to serve as a mean of payment for the “shipment units, services and/or the like.”

Will UPS’ acceptance of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies hinder its current success or will it supplement it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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