Ryder System has been awarded a patent from the US Patent Office for its systems and methods that integrate and optimise supply chain performance in the areas of shipment planning and execution.
The patent provides Ryder with the intellectual property protection related to its logistics release process.
Ryder says that the key approach to the logistics release process is configuring the unique data to create a common, web-native data utility for each stakeholder in the supply chain.
“The process then creates an optimum shipment that takes into account weight, cube, packaging, stackability, pallet configuration and mode determination. The shipment receives a plan, or ‘release’ with the logistics information and instructions for that shipment.
“The plan is created and initiated prior to the movement of goods and then all events of the subsequent movement are controlled by this plan. Whereas the physical movement requires cross docks, terminals and sequence centres, the virtual movements are monitored continually by a “control tower”, or central office from which all movements can be monitored, tracked, and coordinated in real time.
“This capability significantly improves transit time and reduces the cost of integrating multiple transport networks. The technology also includes exception-based reporting, which identifies events that vary from the logistics release plan and enables alternative actions and routeing, as well as measures the plan’s progress against the actual results.”
John Williford, Ryder’s president of global supply chain solutions, said, “We are pleased to be granted this patent that benefits all participants in the supply chain. Ryder’s control tower service helps cut inventory by improving operational execution, and now the business process supporting this service is recognised as unique. We look forward to supporting our customers with Ryder’s logistics release capabilities.”
Patents are unusual in logistics operations and there has been some controversy in the United States over awarding patents for business processes. Amazon’s decision to patent its 1-click process has come in for considerable criticism. However, the patent has come through a recent re-examination more or less unscathed.