XPO Logistics: pioneering disruptive technology in logistics
When it comes to driving innovation within the logistics space, XPO Logistics is at the forefront of disruption when applying technology to its operations.
There is no denying that technology is one of XPO Logistics' strengths, with the company currently devoting each year US$550mn investments into rapid-fire innovation. “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.
The American based company, is a global player within logistics operating in over 30 countries and has recently been honored with a ‘Kings of the Supply Chain Innovation Award’ for improving warehouse efficiency.
The American based company, is a global player within logistics operating in over 30 countries and has recently been honored with a ‘Kings of the Supply Chain Innovation Award’ for improving warehouse efficiency. Innovative technologies the company has adopted over the years include: XPOConnect, C3-XPO and a proprietary warehouse management platform. The company won its most recent innovation award for its ‘Pick and Put to Light’ technology.
What does XPO Logistics’ ‘Pick and Put to Light’ technology do?
Developed as a joint collaboration between XPO Logistics and Actemium, the solution uses colour recognition to collect pallets within a warehouse and route them to a new destination, assisting with fulfilment processes.
The technology was specifically designed to address roadblocks such as employee time, material handling vehicles and overreliance on voice communication, to achieve an efficient logistics environment. The solution so far has increased productivity by 14% on average.
“Pick and Put to Light is an industry-first technology that improves service quality while enhancing the workplace for logistics employees. Our team was extremely proud to receive the Innovation Award for thinking beyond traditional processes and developing a truly transformative solution,” Richard Cawston, managing director, supply chain – Europe, XPO Logistics.
For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - 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.