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Transportation Logistics

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Transportation Logistics Management Overview

Transportation Logistics Patent Forecast®

June 18, 2019

Scope of Analysis:

The sector limits its examination of the shipping process between the time when a shipper begins to choose a carrier to when the freight gets to its destination city. The focus of our analysis was at the level of asset management (i.e. cargo/containers) rather than individual packages/consumer delivery. The Transportation Logistics sector primarily concerns itself with patents and patent applications that enable shippers and carriers to connect and take advantage of underutilized cargo space.

Tags and their Meaning:

Carrier Matching: Documents that help connect shippers and carriers by way of a platform/marketplace (e.g., monetization of underutilized cargo space).

Routing: Documents that aid in the dynamic routing of transport vehicles in response to real time events. Specifically, these documents include software that enables dynamic routing to new pick-up or drop-off locations.

Load Management: Documents that enable carriers to quickly calculate, identify, or predict unused cargo space in their supply chain.

Tracking: Documents that allow carriers to track and manage their shipping vehicles and containers, whether at a distribution center or on the road.

Blockchain: Documents describing the use of distributed ledger and blockchain technology in shipping.  Some of these documents relate to tracking goods and shipments, and others are related to the anonymization of data.  Blockchain has only just emerged into shipping in the past couple of years.

Price Calculation: Documents relating to methods of calculating the cost for alternate routes when a route has been dynamically updated and for choosing among different carriers.  The Carrier Matching category is concerned with the efficiency of the route, while Price Calculation is concerned with opportunity cost and price.

Big Picture:

Some of the most successful new companies, such as Uber and AirBNB, have taken advantage of a more connected world to monetize underutilized assets. In the freight industry, an opportunity may exist to monetize unused cargo space if a company can: 1) identify a carrier’s unused space, 2) locate a shipper who has need for that space, and 3) provide a platform for these two parties to find each other. The tags in this sector represent areas of technology that we believe will serve such a mission.

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