XPO Logistics: at the forefront of technology in logistics
Image source: XPO Logistics
Automation, artificial intelligence, connectivity, standardisation and real time analytics, these are just a few of the buzzwords that are mentioned day to day in modern day logistics and warehousing. With this industry being known for its complexity and legacy systems, key players within the industry have been leading the way when it comes to harnessing innovative technology within their operations to battle this challenge.
One of these key players is XPO Logistics, a global provider of transportation and logistics services that help its customers manage their goods to the highest efficiency throughout their supply chains.
When it comes to technology, the company is devoted to rapid-fire innovation, utilising significant resources to technological development on behalf of its customers. “We believe that innovation, propelled by scale, creates better ways to move goods into the hands of the people who need them,” says XPO Logistics.
Each year the company invests US$550mn into its technological innovation and has over 1,800 technologists that focus on four core areas of innovation: automation and intelligent machines, visibility and customer service, the digital freight marketplace and dynamic data science. “We’re taking the lead in integrating emerging technology throughout our business,” says Troy Cooper, Chief Operating Officer of XPO Logistics.
Current ways the company is using innovative technology include:
XPOConnect - a multimodal digital freight marketplace that increases connectivity within transportation networks. The platform is unique to the industry and uses self learning architecture and predictive data to improve efficiency.
Proprietary warehouse management platform - a cloud based command center that reduces the time required to deploy collaborative robots and automations.
C3-XPO - an autonomous security robot that monitors the car parks and exterior of the company’s sites, 24 hours a day.
To read the full feature on the future of logistics warehouses check out February’s edition of Supply Chain Digital.
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
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.