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July 15, 2020 3:00 PM, EDT

C.H. Robinson, Microsoft Forge Alliance to Enhance Supply Chain Monitoring

C.H. Robinson signC.H. Robinson Worldwide

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C.H. Robinson and Microsoft Corp. have aligned with the goal of digitally transforming supply chains to improve monitoring, the logistics company announced July 14.

The alliance aims to enhance real-time visibility for customers to better meet their needs. C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere through this collaboration will leverage Microsoft Azure and its internet of things offshoot.

“It is clear that the pace of change we’re seeing in the supply chain industry today is unparalleled,” Jordan Kass, president of managed services at C.H. Robinson, told Transport Topics. “We believe that as the supply chain industry moves forward, real-time visibility and the ability to consume, combine and analyze data from growing number of integrations is essential.”

Navisphere is a global multimodal transportation management platform. Microsoft Azure is a cloud-computing platform for managing applications and services. Azure IoT is a collection of cloud services that connects billions of IoT assets. By combining these platforms, the alliance aims to provide customers increased intelligence about goods as they move through the supply chain.

Jordan Kass

Kass

“Joining forces further supports both our and Microsoft’s bold ambitions and ushers a new path forward in digitally transforming the supply chain industry by pairing the power of our transportation management system, Navisphere, and Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure,” Kass said.

He added that the alliance is an extension of their relationship that goes back five years. He also noted it is part of a $1 billion technology investment plan over the next five years.

“This represents part of our continued work to enhance visibility for shippers and automation of the supply chain so ultimately this could reduce supply chain costs for shippers,” Kass said. “This alliance takes us further along in that journey as we will now leverage Azure IoT Central to integrate IoT device monitoring.”

Microsoft logo

C.H. Robinson said that the alliance makes it easier to scale and develop new solutions to provide shippers with greater supply chain efficiency, real-time insights and visibility. The Microsoft Azure cloud platform also allows more scalability, improved data security and increased application speed for customers.

“With Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we gain even more scalability, premier data security, and increased application speed for the benefit of our customers and carriers around the world,” Kass said.

The IoT device-monitoring components can measure factors such as temperature, shock, tilt, humidity, light and pressure in shipments to provide customers detailed information about their goods. This can also warn them when there is damage or potential dangers.

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“This alliance pairing Navisphere and Azure Cloud technologies makes 100% real-time global visibility possible, which ultimately means predicting obstacles and responding real-time to them,” Kass said. “Together, we have already made great strides in creating transformative technologies for the supply chain and anticipate this continuing into the future.”

C.H. Robinson ranks No. 7 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

C.H. Robinson said it has nearly $20 billion in freight under management and 18 million shipments annually. Its multimodal transportation management system allows it to service some 119,000 customers and 78,000 contract carriers.

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