- FourKites and FedEx are teaming up on an end-to-end supply chain intelligence platform meant to help companies better optimize their supply chains, the companies announced Wednesday.
- FourKites will leverage FedEx data to create the platform, which will be known as FourKites X. Large shippers and logistics providers can use the tool to track orders, manage delivery providers and find alternate routes in the case of weather delays or other disruptions, FourKites CEO Matt Elenjickal said in an email.
- FedEx made an investment in FourKites as part of the deal, though financial details were not disclosed. The companies will be building and piloting a beta launch over the next few months, with the expectation that the tool will be made available later this year, Elenjickal said.
FedEx is capitalizing on growing demand for real-time and accurate shipping information as companies contend with long lead times and other shipping disruptions. The delivery company announced in January it would work with Microsoft to roll out a “logistics as a service” solution to help businesses better fulfill orders.
“Our vision is to deliver comprehensive supply chain intelligence — to provide prescriptive analytics that can help businesses optimize supply chains, lower costs, drive higher service levels, improve communication and create greater network transparency,” FedEx said in an emailed statement.
FedEx’s partnership with FourKites will provide shippers with more ways to gain control over their deliveries. Elenjickal said FourKites X will help businesses break through “visibility ‘fog’” by providing predictions on clearance by port, mode and commodity. The platform also tracks orders as they “move from bulk to individual parcel shipments,” Elenjickal said.
FourKites X additionally gives businesses more options to manage delivery providers and respond to shipping disruptions. Companies can use the platform to more easily manage in-house, contracted and gig-based delivery providers. In the case of traffic or weather events, the platform also provides alternative routing options to ensure shipments arrive on-time.
A lack of quality shipping data has recently caught the eye of federal regulators. Late last year, the Federal Maritime Commission launched a data initiative led by Commissioner Carl Bentzel to identify data gaps and solutions in ocean shipping.
Finding shipping data is "constant detective work in order to have that information available for the client," Michelle Fajardo, president of Cargo International Consolidators, said in a meeting hosted by the FMC in February.
FourKites X will initially be targeted toward large shippers and logistics providers that deal in the transportation of high-value goods, Elenjickal said. The platform is targeting customers in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, automotive, industrial and high-tech industries.
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