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Mechanism for Dynamic Routing of Physical Goods to Unknown Destinations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237515D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described is a mechanism for dynamic routing of physical goods to unknown destinations.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 43% of the total text.

Page 01 of 2

Mechanism for Dynamic Routing of Physical Goods to Unknown Destinations

Shipping packages from one location to another takes time. Depending on the distance, it takes significant time. This causes a number of problems. Companies moving around a fixed inventory, like dvd-by-mail companies, are required to collect a much larger inventory of discs to fulfill orders due to the number of in-flight envelopes. If discs instantaneously arrived at their destination, a smaller subset of discs would be sufficient to meet the same demand.

    Similarly, companies with high-demand products run the risk of losing sales if they are unable to restock inventory quickly enough. When considering ordering a new cellphone, if the purchase will not arrive for 7-10 days due to shipping delays, it might be more attractive to purchase locally and potentially purchase a different product (losing a sale for the company that was forced to ship). Frequently, this scenario is handled today by storing inventory in regional warehouses to reduce shipping time to individual stores or consumers. This does alleviate the problem somewhat, but incurs high costs for the warehouse facility and staffing.

    The proposed solution to this problem is to reduce the perceived time to deliver packages by allowing dynamic routing of physical goods throughout the shipment process. Unlike the traditional delivery paradigm, this invention relies on an address label that takes the form of a QR code, RFID tag, or some other addressable ID. Using a QR code would provide a cheaper labeling mechanism (simply print the code on the package), but could prove less secure as it would be plainly visible to all who have physical access to the package. RFID tags improve privacy and simplify reading the address as they do not require line of sight, but incur an additional cost, both in labelling each package as well as updating equipment to read RFID tags.

    Using the dynamic address label, a package can be processed for delivery by a source location prior to a target location having been determined. Upon receipt, the delivery company would use the dynamic address label to inquire from a web service where the package should be distributed to. In the case of dvd-by-mail companies, this would allow a disc to be directly shipped from one house to another, without requiring a round-trip to the next facility. This would reduce the number of discs required, as fewer would be in transit, and it would reduce the warehouse size required as more discs would not require storage at any point in time.

    For the product delivery use case, let's consider purchasing a cellphone. As the company receives shipment of a large quantity of new cellphones (say 50,000) from the manufacturer, it can package and begin shipping groups of 1,000 to each sales region known to purchase them. One region may be "Minnesota", for example. This would allow the shipping company to begin driving/flying/shipping the cellphones from California...