UPS originally filed the patent application on February 16. The patent describes that although freight logistics providers are already very good at optimizing package scheduling to improve efficiency and reduce costs, it is still difficult to coordinate logistics for shipments involving multiple logistics service provider transportation networks. The patent author describes this:
“Different logistics service providers have the best option between shipping units and different bulk shipments from the place of shipment to the destination. However, the transportation of the shipping unit is coordinated through the transport network of various logistics service providers. It can be difficult. In addition, if the shipping unit has special handling requirements, it may be difficult to ensure that the individual logistics service providers that assist the shipping unit can perform special processing requirements.”
The goal of the UPS is to solve this problem through an autonomous system that, in some embodiments, uses an immutable blockchain ledger to implement automatic parcel scheduling in multiple logistics service provider networks.
Once a package is scanned into a packaged device, the system automatically selects the route based on the services provided by the transportation provider connected to the network. When the package arrives at the destination, information about the goods is recorded in the blockchain ledger so that the system can assess whether the service provider has fulfilled its respective service obligations.
The patent authors point out that in some forms, the system can be built to provide interlocking DLT networks that use smart contracts to pay parties in the supply chain because they fulfill their obligations in specific transportation. If the system is built on a public blockchain network, it can even handle these value transfers using decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.