UPS eyes blockchain for global supply chain initiative

There’s life in the old dog yet. 110-year-old company looks to grab a piece of the blockchain action

UPS is considering the use of blockchain technology to streamline package delivery logistics.

According to documents published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), it has applied for a patent that revolves around distributed ledger technology to route packages throughout an international supply chain which may include multiple carriers.

Abstract as follows: “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.”

“An exemplary method comprises receiving and storing in a distributed ledger service offers for transporting a shipment unit; receiving and storing in a distributed ledger shipment unit data comprising an origin, a destination, and transportation parameters; matching service offers stored in the distributed ledger to the shipment unit data to generate a transportation plan for transporting the shipment unit in accordance with the shipment unit data, each service offer corresponding to a leg of the transportation plan, receiving and storing in the distributed ledger an indication of completion of a particular leg of the transportation plan, and causing payment of an entity for transporting the shipment unit along the particular leg.”

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