FedEx and Microsoft team up to provide “logistics as a service” solution

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FedEx and Microsoft yesterday announced a new logistics solution that's part of their multi-year collaboration in the field of commerce, supply chains and logistics. The two well-known companies have created a cross-platform “logistics as a service” offering for retailers, merchants and brands.

FedEx and Microsoft team up to provide “logistics as a service” solution

The solution, expected to be ready to US customers in the second half of this year, sees FedEx’s network intelligence combine with capabilities from Microsoft Dynamics 365. It comes after the logistics and technology giants joined forces in May 2020 “to enable businesses to better compete in today’s increasingly digital commerce ecosystem.”

The two companies say that they are using tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning to extrapolate new insights from the 17 million packages that pass through the FedEx network each day. For example, the FedEx Surround platform leverages AI, machine learning and analytics solutions to proactively monitor the risk to FedEx packages along a delivery route — such as weather disruptions or traffic delays. This near real-time information provides customers with visibility to the state of their supply chain and allows them to proactively plan remediation and alternatives that FedEx can help execute to keep a shipment on track.

The companies’ new plans for a “logistics as a service” offering  involve the introduction of a unique data integration coupling data insights from FedEx with Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management. This, it is said, will “help brands access new information and capabilities to better fulfill, ship and service customer orders while easily integrating with their existing e-commerce platforms.”

Both FedEx and Microsoft say their cross-platform approach will also allow brands to deliver “modern, high-value experiences directly to their customers including faster, more cost-effective delivery; near real-time delivery status communications; and convenient, frictionless returns with approximately 60,000 drop-off locations and printerless QR codes.”

Commenting on the latest product to come out of the Microsoft FedEx partnership, Raj Subramaniam, president and COO of FedEx Corp, said:

“Nearly two years ago we set out on a mission with Microsoft to transform the commerce ecosystem. In that time, we’ve made significant progress, leveraging Microsoft Azure technology with our FedEx Surround solution, which provides critical support in enabling advanced monitoring of time-sensitive priority shipments. This next phase of our collaboration will continue to connect the unmatched supply chain insights from the FedEx network with the Microsoft Cloud to improve e-commerce experiences for brands, merchants and consumers.”

Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, added:

“More than ever, it’s clear just how critical having a resilient supply chain is for every organization’s success in the modern economy. We’re bringing data and insights from the FedEx network together with the Microsoft Cloud, starting with Dynamics 365, to help organizations accelerate their digital transformation across their business operations so they can offer customers more integrated ways to shop, and faster, more efficient deliveries.”

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