UPS Eyes Blockchain in Bid to Track Global Shipping Data

Article by · August 20, 2018 ·

UPS, a shipping giant has applied for a new patent that applies blockchain as component of a distributed system for sending packages throughout the world.

The company’s interest in using blockchain to revisualize the methods of shipments movement around the world was revealed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in their patent application, published on Aug. 16

Named “Autonomous services selection system and distributed transportation database(s),” the term has to do with storing different types of data within a distributed ledger network, such as the data about a package’s destination, its movement and transportation plans for shipment units.

As earlier reported, in 2017, UPS registered together with a transportation-focused blockchain consortium and has even mentioned at the idea of approving bitcoin via a proposed system of item-exchange lockers.

Obviously, UPS proposed the use of more than one distributed ledger so as to be able to track variety shipment orders, “each providing varying information/data regarding respective asset types (e.g., shipment units and/or associated shipment units).”

“Thus, certain embodiments enable tracking of the first set of shipment units and a second set of shipment units associated with the first set of shipment units separately, thereby enabling the use of various smart contracts relating to shipping services and shipment unit handling in a bifurcated manner,” the company noted.

It isn’t a thing of a surprise if the company decided to look at various methods of facilitating the process through which it moves shipments around the world, looking at its scale. According to its website, UPS shipped more than 5 billion packages and documents in 2017, earning $54 billion in return.


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