How Social Media Will Transform the Supply Chain
Social media may be ubiquitous, but it’s still in its infancy – especially considering the range of potential business applications. Most companies already use social media as a way of interacting with their customers and keeping abreast of new trends, but that’s hardly the only or even the best way for globally sourced corporations to make most effective use of the new technology.
Real-time integration of advanced software – some already on the market, some in the developmental stages – already allows companies like Home Depot and Teva Pharmaceuticals to coordinate with the entire logistics network.
That means internal reports can be processed with dramatic precision, and external players in supply and warehousing can communicate any potential problems before they happen.
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:
Considering the fallout when companies don’t adequately manage their supply chain – not to mention the obvious gains to be gleaned from smooth logistics – it seems likely that companies won’t let themselves lag behind the curve on this one if they want to stay competitive.
Over the next couple of years, we’re probably going to see an explosion in the use of social media to strengthen supply chain operations. Getting out ahead is the best way to make sure you reap the richest benefits – and all while spending even more time on Facebook.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.