US logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) has applied for a patent, which describes the use of blockchain technology to track parcels around the world.
The application "Autonomous Service Selection System and Distributed Transport Database" describes a method that includes a variety of different types of data contained in a distributed registry. Among other things, the blockchain will contain data on the destination of the parcel, intermediate points and plans for the delivery of the parcel.
Thus, certain embodiments enable tracking of a 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.
Also, UPS plans to use more than one distributed registry, but several.
In November of last year, UPS became a member of the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), a consortium that aims to develop standards for using blockchain technology to track parcels and make payments between supply chain participants.