LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Known more for its search engine than any other product, Google is making inroads into the supply chain space with its Google Cloud Platform.
Founded two years ago, Google Cloud is rapidly bringing major transportation providers of all modes to its platform, and it has made strides in bringing its technology expertise to the last mile.
On Monday, Google Cloud and XPO (New York Stock Exchange: XPO) announced a multi-year collaboration to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to drive further innovation in traffic goods throughout the supply chain.
“XPO is always looking for ways to innovate the way goods move around the world. Implementing the most advanced technology is the best way for us to ensure that we achieve this goal,” said Yoav Amiel, senior vice president of technology at XPO. “By working with Google Cloud’s AI/ML and data analytics capabilities, we can leverage the fastest and most efficient supply chains possible. »
Through this partnership, XPO expects to move closer to its sustainability goals by moving freight more efficiently. With Google Cloud, XPO guarantees that for every application moved from a self-managed data center or co-location facility to the public cloud, the net operational emissions of running that application will be zero. Google Cloud matches 100% of the electricity that powers cloud workloads with renewable energy.
Hans Thalbauer, general manager of global supply chain, logistics and transportation at Google Cloud, told FreightWaves that the company’s transportation services are part of a “highly differentiated services” offering for customers. ‘industry. Customers span trucking, rail, air and marine.
Google Cloud leverages the Google Maps platform and partners with other technology providers such as project44, Blume Global and SAP to create digital twins of supply chains for businesses, helping them benchmark their operations and their freight movements.
“It’s a huge network and a huge ecosystem to make technology easy to use and adopt,” Thalbauer said at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/XPO 2022 conference at the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World.
The digital twin replicates the company’s supply chain, taking public and private datasets to generate insights. “We allow businesses to create that visibility in a control tower format,” he noted.
Last mile push
In March, Google Cloud announced two last mile related products: Last Mile Fleet Solution from its Google Maps Platform and Google Cloud Cloud Fleet Routing API to help fleet operators optimize their delivery performance. The first solution is currently in public preview for select enterprises, while the second will be available in Q2.
The first Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Last Mile Fleet Solution, focuses on delivery execution. Powered by hyperlocal information from Google Maps, the solution enables simplified address entry to improve accurate address capture, shipment tracking and up-to-date arrival times for customers and detailed delivery locations for drivers .
Last Mile Fleet Solutions is integrated with turn-by-turn navigation that integrates into a driver’s existing workflows, ensuring deliveries go through without a hitch, all within the Google Maps interface. The solution also provides a full day view of tasks with enhanced routing and traffic data, allowing drivers to adjust their routes as needed.
For fleet operators, the platform provides real-time fleet visualization through information such as shipment status, route progress, and real-time and predictive traffic. The solution even allows operators to generate their own information for better performance.
The other half of Google’s product deployment, Google Cloud’s Cloud Fleet Routing API, aims to provide a scalable platform through which fleet operators can manage and optimize routes. The solution enables efficient allocation of packages to delivery vans and sequencing of delivery tasks through native integration with Google Maps, and it allows customers to specify constraints such as time windows, package weight and vehicle capacity.
Thalbauer said the solutions benefit from the Google Maps platform, but provide more efficiency across the board. In India, he said, a company that implemented the Cloud Fleet Routing API reduced the number of delivery vans it needed by 40% through better asset utilization.
Last Mile Fleet also includes address verification, which can be beneficial for shippers, especially small shippers in the e-commerce space. The verifier verifies the entered delivery address and alerts users when this address may not be correct. It may also offer a possible alternative address.
Thalbauer also said emailed information with delivery links can be used for smaller carriers that may not have robust technology platforms.
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