LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida. Google is better known for its search engine than any other product, and it is moving ahead in the supply chain arena with the Google Cloud Platform.
Founded two years ago, Google Cloud is rapidly bringing major transportation providers of all modes to its platform, and has made strides in bringing its technology expertise to the last mile.
On Monday, Google Cloud and XPO (NYSE: XPO) announced a multi-year collaboration to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to drive more innovation in goods transiting 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 Amil, Senior Vice President of Technology at XPO. “By working with data analytics and intelligence capabilities. Artificial / Machine Learning From Google Cloud, we can take advantage of faster and more efficient supply chains. »
Through this partnership, XPO expects to move closer to its sustainability goals by moving shipments more efficiently. With Google Cloud, XPO ensures that for every application that is 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 powering 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 distinctive services” offering to customers. Customers include truck, rail, air and sea transportation.
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 businesses’ supply chains, helping them measure their operations and 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 iterates a company’s supply chain, taking public and private data sets to generate insights. “We allow companies to create that vision in the form of a watchtower,” he noted.
Pay the last mile
In March, Google Cloud announced two last-mile products: the Google Maps Platform’s Last Mile Fleet Solution and the Google Cloud Cloud Fleet Routing API to help fleet operators improve delivery performance. The first solution is currently available for public preview for select organizations, while the second solution will be available in the second quarter.
Google’s first (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Last Mile Fleet Solution, focuses on delivering delivery. Powered by local information from Google Maps, the solution enables simplified address entry for better accurate address capture, shipment tracking, updated arrival times for customers, and detailed delivery locations for drivers.
Last Mile Fleet Solutions is integrated with a step-by-step navigation system that integrates with existing driver workflows, ensuring deliveries continue unhindered, all through the Google Maps interface. The solution also provides a full-day view of missions with enhanced steering and motion data, allowing drivers to adjust their routes as needed.
For fleet operators, the platform provides real-time visualization of the fleet with information such as cargo status, route progress, and real-time and predictive traffic. The solution also allows operators to generate their own information for better performance.
The other half of Google’s product deployment, the Google Cloud Cloud Fleet Routing API, aims to provide a scalable platform on which fleet operators can manage and optimize routes. The solution enables efficient package customization for delivery trucks and delivery task sequences through native integration with Google Maps, and also allows customers to define restrictions such as time windows, package weight and vehicle capacity.
The solutions take advantage of the Google Maps platform, but provide greater efficiency across the board, Thalpur said. In India, he said, the company that implemented the Cloud Fleet Routing API reduced the number of delivery vans it needed by 40% through better use of assets.
The Last Mile Fleet also includes address verification, which can come in handy for shippers, especially small shippers in the e-commerce space. The validator verifies the delivery address entered and alerts users when that address is incorrect. It may also show a possible alternate title.
Thalbauer also said that information sent via email with delivery links could be used for smaller carriers that may not have robust technology platforms.
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