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FedEx Corp. and supply chain solutions provider FourKites on June 22 announced an alliance to offer customers new, real-time data and information. The purpose is to help businesses navigate challenges, operate more efficiently and develop new growth opportunities.
Without disclosing specifics, the Memphis, Tenn., package delivery company is making a financial investment in Chicago-based FourKites.
In a statement announcing the alliance, the companies said events such as the pandemic, ongoing geopolitical issues, port congestion and other disruptions to the world economy have revealed the challenges and complexities in keeping the world’s interconnected supply chains running smoothly.
“This is an exciting collaboration between two industry leaders and innovators coming together to unlock new opportunities for our customers,” FedEx Dataworks CEO Sriram Krishnasamy said. “If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that companies need to work together in order to work smarter and faster.
“Our collaboration with FourKites creates a data ecosystem that will deliver a new level of predictability and visibility to help businesses build smarter supply chains in today’s unpredictable and complex business environment.”
FourKites said its new end-to-end supply chain intelligence platform, FourKites X, is designed with integrated intelligence at each point in the supply chain, capable of tracking 2.5 million shipments per day. It also connects the supply chains of 50% of the Fortune 500 companies.
The statement said FourKites will use its artificial intelligence and machine learning, and by adding data insights from FedEx’s extensive network, the program will be able to reach more than 220 countries and territories. That will link more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product through more than 16.5 million shipments daily, creating a new end-to-end supply chain intelligence platform.
“We are excited to announce this groundbreaking platform and strategic collaboration with FedEx,” FourKites founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal said. “Our organizations share an unwavering commitment to customer success through strategic innovation. Together, we are working to pave the future of global supply chains built on a foundation of data and machine learning to deliver new value to those global supply chains.”
The platform is being designed to help large shippers and logistics providers identify areas of opportunity including how chief supply chain officers will be able to improve planning to address manufacturing slowdowns, which can result in empty store shelves downstream.
The program also will help companies use data to turn supply chain crises into opportunities to improve customer experience.
“When it comes to supply chain data, more is always better,” said Steve Banker, ARC Advisory Group vice president for supply chain services. “The collaboration between FourKites and FedEx is exceptional in both the volume of data that it will aggregate, and in the degree to which it could improve predicted times of arrival, planning and more. FourKites X can be a big step forward for this market.”
Customers of FourKites X will be able to integrate the platform with existing systems, and they will be able to receive new capabilities including weather advisories and supply chain insights.
Through our new strategic investment from @FedEx, we're proud to announce the release of FourKites X, designed to give large shippers and logistics providers new tools to mitigate the impacts of sustained supply chain challenges: https://t.co/YEYkcKySii#supplychain #global #data— FourKites (@FourKites) June 22, 2022
This latest announcement follows January’s news that FedEx is developing a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to apply the software company’s cloud-based artificial intelligence system to track and monitor FedEx’s 17 million daily packages to make operations more efficient.
Meanwhile, FedEx also announced June 22 it was adding Picture Proof of Delivery for its express and ground residential deliveries in the U.S. and Canada that are released without a signature.
Under the plan, customers will receive a digital picture showing where their package was delivered alongside the tracking number. FedEx Express and FedEx Ground said they are the first nationwide carriers to announce they are providing Picture Proof of Delivery without requiring an account or login.
“This is something e-commerce merchants and customers have been asking for, and we are proud to be the first to announce this service will be available to residential customers,” FedEx Chief Customer Officer Brie Carere said. “Receiving visual confirmation that the package has arrived gives peace of mind to both merchants and consumers, and we are thrilled to give them that confidence.”
FedEx said the program will be free through its online tracking tools and won’t require enrollment.
FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.