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December 17, 2021

Supply chain & logistics innovation among tech industry companies has dropped off in the last year

By GlobalData Thematic Research

Research and innovation in supply chain & logistics in the technology and communications 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 291 in the three months ending October – down from 400 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to supply chain and logistics followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 287 in the three months ending October last year to 226 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.

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

Coupang Inc was the top supply chain & logistics innovator in the technology and communications sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in South Korea, filed 30 supply chain and logistics related patents in the three months ending October. That was down from 36 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the United States based Alphabet Inc with 22 supply chain and logistics patent applications, the United States based International Business Machines Corp (19 applications), and China based Baidu Inc (18 applications).

Sony Group Corp has recently ramped up R&D in supply chain & logistics. It saw growth of 41.7% in related patent applications in the three months ending October compared to the same period last year - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the technology and communications sector.