Parcel giant FedEx Corp. is extending its effort to find valuable patterns in its huge stores of transportation and delivery data, announcing today that it has bought an ownership share of FourKites, and will team with the logistics tech firm to create a supply chain visibility product.
The move follows the January news that Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx would partner with Microsoft Corp. to apply the software firm’s cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) tools to FedEx’ records on the 17 million packages that pass through its delivery network each day. That deal was intended to create a “logistics as a service” product that could improve commerce experiences for businesses.
By investing in Chicago-based FourKites, FedEx sees a chance to find additional insights in its own data—combined with the 2.5 million daily shipments supported by FourKites’ visibility network—and sell those as a cloud-based service to businesses that are looking to solve their supply chain challenges, become more efficient, and unlock new growth opportunities.
FourKites declined to disclose the amount of FedEx’ investment, but said the new “FourKites X” platform will exist as a standalone, software as a service (SaaS) solution that customers can purchase. More specifically, the collaboration is intended to “make supply chains smarter” by bringing improved visibility into multi-modal and multi-carrier operations, the company said.
“If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that companies need to work together in order to work smarter and faster,” Sriram Krishnasamy, CEO of FedEx Dataworks, said in a release. “Our collaboration with FourKites creates a data ecosystem that will deliver a new level of predictability and visibility to help businesses build smarter supply chains in today’s unpredictable and complex business environment.”
FedEx created its Dataworks business unit in 2020 as an initiative to apply data science and machine learning tools in order to harness “the power of the rich FedEx data ecosystem to transform the digital and physical customer experience.”
Through our new strategic investment from @FedEx, FourKites is proud to announce the release of FourKites X, designed to give large shippers and logistics providers new tools to help them mitigate the impacts of sustained supply chain challenges.#global #transportation pic.twitter.com/DQdHWobGYA— FourKites (@FourKites) June 21, 2022