United Parcel Service recently filed a patent application teaching blockchain-based ledgers for shipping and tracking packages. The patent is UPS' second in the cryptocurrency sector, filed over a year after their first. The claims cover determining the cost and timeline for shipping a package depending on its contents and value using historical data stored in a distributed ledger. The application's specifications also discuss a blockchain wherein each block corresponds to data about a package as it is transported to its destination and tracked in real-time. This method would be more accurate and more secure, which may appeal to customers in an era when online shopping and home delivery are increasingly prevalent.
The patent also suggests that UPS is trying to differentiate itself from the U.S. Postal Service, which has four patent applications published in the cryptocurrency space. The USPS' patents are directed more towards identity management than shipping applications. FedEx, the other major American parcel delivery competitor, is not in the space currently. As the pandemic affects funding and revenue for all three organizations, their patent movement could indicate further ways in which each group looks to stand out. You can view more industrial applications for cryptocurrency and blockchain on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®.