Research and innovation in supply chain & logistics in the ship equipment supply, product and services sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of supply chain and logistics patent applications in the industry stood at 29 in the three months ending October – down from 50 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to supply chain and logistics followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 44 in the three months ending October last year to 32 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Supply chain and logistics is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

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The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

FedEx Corp was the top supply chain & logistics innovator in the ship equipment supply, product and services sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 48 supply chain and logistics related patents in the three months ending October. That was down from 60 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the United States based United Parcel Service Inc with 33 supply chain and logistics patent applications, and the United States based Uber Technologies Inc (6 applications).

By Michael Goodier