Connecticut-based XPO Logistics is partnering with Google Cloud to enhance how goods move through supply chains. Through a multi-year collaboration, XPO will leverage Google Cloud's artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics capabilities to "build faster, more efficient supply chains with greater visibility," the company said in a press release.
Across the supply chain, XPO said its customers—from manufacturers to consumer-packaged goods companies to retailers—are facing an increasingly unpredictable marketplace filled with constraints, volatility, and rising demand. To help address these challenges, XPO migrated several applications to Google Cloud, enabling the transportation services provider to take advantage of the scalability and availability of cloud computing.
XPO pointed out that scalability is key for dealing with peak periods of seasonality, while high application availability is critical, as services need to run smoothly around the clock.
See also: XPO puts up record numbers in Q1
Google Cloud's data analytics, AI, and ML tools aim to help XPO provide insights to its operators–such as product managers, demand planners, route planners, and data analysts. For instance, the company said AI and ML tools will help XPO engineers experiment with algorithms in real time, while evaluating new algorithms for XPO Connect's load-matching and pricing technologies.
Additional tools also help XPO optimize network planning by providing real-time updates on shipment statuses, allowing operators to avoid potential shipping delays, the company stated.
As part of the partnership with Google Cloud, XPO said it can ensure that every application moved from a self-managed data center or collocation facility to the public cloud, will produce net-zero operational emissions. Google Cloud matches 100% of electricity that powers cloud workloads with renewable energy. According to XPO, this allows products like XPO Connect to improve the carbon footprint of XPO's truck brokerage customers by optimizing lane assignments and reducing empty miles.
See also: The impact of automated route planning
"We're bringing our innovative AI/ML and data analytics solutions to XPO, to help it transform supply chain management, ensure its deliveries are on-time, and give its customers accurate, up-to-date view on the location of their freight," said Hans Thalbauer, managing director of Global Supply Chain, Logistics & Transportation, Google Cloud. "As external factors continue to impact supply chains and create new challenges, we're dedicated to collaborating with XPO to help the company continually improve and run operations as efficiently and sustainably as possible."