System and method of coordinating distribution of an item

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  • Publication Date:
    September 14, 2021
  • Additional Information
    • Patent Number:
      11120,394
    • Appl. No:
      15/620351
    • Application Filed:
      June 12, 2017
    • Abstract:
      A system and method for coordinating item delivery is disclosed. The system includes a control hub configured to receive item information, a dynamic routing system configured to provide routing instructions, and a handheld device configured to receive routing instructions. The control hub controls and coordinates receiving and transmitting item information, including pick-up and delivery schedules, and other item information.
    • Inventors:
      United States Postal Service (Washington, DC, US)
    • Assignees:
      United States Postal Service (Washington, DC, US)
    • Claim:
      1. A method of routing pick-up and delivery resources comprising: identifying, in a control hub, a plurality of pickup and delivery resources, wherein each of the plurality of pickup and delivery resources is assigned a pre-determined postal route within an area, and wherein the pre-determined postal routes are assigned to different geographic portions of the area; receiving from a sorting device, via the control hub in an item distribution system, during a time when the plurality of pickup and delivery resources are traversing their predetermined postal routes, item information for an additional item, wherein the item information comprises a time restriction for a pick-up of the additional item and a time restriction for a delivery of the additional item and wherein the additional item and at least one item of the plurality of items are to be picked up from different merchants at different merchant locations and delivered to different delivery points; evaluating, in the control hub, the predetermined postal routes of the plurality of pickup and delivery resources to determine one resource of the plurality of pickup and delivery resources that is at a location along the resource's predetermined postal route which will enable pick-up and delivery of the additional item within the time restriction for the pick-up and the delivery of the additional item; providing at least a portion of the item information to a dynamic routing system, with instructions to add the additional item into the determined route; generating, in the dynamic routing system, updated routing instructions for pick-up and delivery of the additional item within the time restriction for the pick-up and delivery of the additional item; receiving the updated routing instructions in the control hub; wirelessly communicating the updated routing instructions and time restriction information from the control hub to a mobile computing device associated with the determined one resource of the plurality of pickup and delivery; displaying, on the mobile computing device, route information for the additional item and for the at least one of the plurality of items; receiving, from interactive list selection of the item from the mobile computing device, a selection of the additional item; receiving pick-up and delivery status, including time information, in the control hub for the additional item and the at least one item from the mobile computing device; and providing pick-up and delivery status information received from the mobile computing device for at least the additional item to a user interface.
    • Claim:
      2. The method of claim 1 , wherein the item information comprises at least one of pick-up location, delivery location, vendor name, recipient name, item dimension, or delivery instructions.
    • Claim:
      3. The method of claim 1 , further comprising receiving a payment status for the additional item and associating the payment status with the additional item.
    • Claim:
      4. The method of claim 1 , wherein the user interface is accessible remote from the control hub.
    • Claim:
      5. The method of claim 1 , wherein receiving pick-up and delivery status from the mobile computing device comprises querying the mobile computing device in response to an input received via the user interface, and providing the pick-up and delivery status from the mobile computing device to the user interface via the control hub in response to the query.
    • Claim:
      6. The method of claim 1 , wherein the mobile computing device provides directions for at least one of a pick-up route and a delivery route for each of the plurality of items, using a global positioning system.
    • Claim:
      7. The method of claim 1 , wherein the item information comprises a pick-up location for picking up the additional item and a delivery location for the additional item.
    • Claim:
      8. The method of claim 7 , wherein the item information is received from a vendor via the user interface, and wherein pick-up location is a location of the vendor and the delivery location is the location of a purchaser of the item.
    • Claim:
      9. The method of claim 8 , wherein the time restriction for the delivery is a time by which the additional item is to be delivered to the purchaser of the item.
    • Claim:
      10. The method of claim 8 , wherein the time restriction for the pickup is a time by which the additional item is to be picked up at the location of the vendor.
    • Claim:
      11. The method of claim 10 , wherein the time restriction for the pickup is a time restriction by which the additional item must be picked up in order to ensure a same-day delivery of the additional item.
    • Claim:
      12. The method of claim 7 , wherein the time restrictions for pickup and delivery is a same-day pick-up and delivery for the additional item.
    • Patent References Cited:
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      2002/0099567 July 2002 Joao
      2003/0114206 June 2003 Timothy et al.
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      2007/0000989 January 2007 Kadaba
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    • Other References:
      Mitrović-Minić, Sne{hacek over (z)}ana. The Dynamic Pickup and Delivery Problem With Time Windows. Diss. University of Belgrade, 2001. (Year: 2001). cited by examiner
    • Primary Examiner:
      Tungate, Scott M
    • Attorney, Agent or Firm:
      Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP
    • Accession Number:
      edspgr.11120394