Google Cloud sees rising profile in logistics applications | CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly .

Logistics Software

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An increasing number of logistics sector heavyweights are deploying their supply chain technology products on Google Cloud, which is one of the three largest cloud computing hosts alongside Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Running software on a cloud service enables tech vendors to offer their products in the software as a service (SaaS) model, where applications run remotely instead of being based on on-premise servers located at each customer’s location. Another benefit is being able to tap into the enormous data processing and storage power of distributed computing architectures.

On Monday, the material handling systems integrator Dematic cited those benefits when it said it would partner with Google Cloud. The approach will combine Dematic’s supply chain expertise with Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, the Atlanta-based firm said.

Dematic said its customers will benefit from the deal through an improved ability to create a more sustainable supply chain by leveraging data to understand efficiencies to be gained in areas such as operations, planning, labor, and inventory. More specifically, the partnership will allow Dematic to develop and deploy a range of solutions, including e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment systems and control tower applications for vertical markets including general merchandise, grocery, apparel, and food and beverage.

Also Monday, the freight transportation service provider XPO Logistics Inc. unveiled a multiyear partnership with Google Cloud, saying the collaboration would help the firm to innovate how goods move through supply chains. By leveraging Google Cloud’s AI, machine learning, and data analytics, the company said it would be able to improve supply chain processes and offer its customers greater visibility, according to Yoav Amiel, XPO’s newly announced chief information officer.

In particular, XPO said that linking its XPO Connect digital brokerage tool to Google Cloud would help to scale up that platform to handle a growing volume of demand. Likewise, XPO said it would use Google Cloud’s data analytics to improve the optimization of its less-than-truckload (LTL) technologies for routing, load-building, and labor productivity. And finally, XPO said that access to cloud data and AI would help improve its pricing tools, which optimize LTL rates for local and regional accounts.

The two new deals follow previous logistics tech systems that run on Google Cloud, including logistics execution and supply chain visibility tools from Blume Global and the J.B. Hunt 360 digital freight matching platform from J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.

“Google Cloud is committed to helping organizations across the supply chain address the rapidly-evolving needs and expectations of customers, suppliers, and fulfillment centers with cloud technology,” said Kirsten Kliphouse, President, North America, Google Cloud. “We’re pleased to partner with Dematic to provide customers with innovative solutions and technologies that will help them quickly address changes across the industry and that support their digital transformation goals.”