FedEx is partnering with Microsoft to share FedEx’s Explorer tracking information with other organizations with the help of Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365, a product of FedEx’s partnership with Microsoft, which has designed a new platform for third-party enterprise organizations to digitally visualize their supply chains. Companies can use FedEx Surround to access their inventory data to provide real-time inventory tracking and logistics management.
For example, businesses can store different types of information in a system, such as traffic patterns and product inventory, reuse machine learning to predict transportation delays due to storms, and then change their shipping routes.
Although FedEx has discussed similar so-called predictive logistics systems before, a company spokesman said the new service, created with Microsoft, has more powerful features, including weather alerts and better inventory management tools.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith explained in a video how Microsoft and FedEx worked together to create FedEx.
The partnership between FedEx and Microsoft comes after the shipping giant canceled its partnership with Microsoft rival Amazon last year. FedEx used to ship domestic packages to Amazon, but the partnership stopped after it expanded its rival shipping and logistics operations. FedEx is under pressure to lift its profit slide amid increased competition from Amazon and the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Its shares have fallen 36 per cent in the past 12 months to $107.52.
Also on Monday, FedEx said it would start using Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services and machine learning technology internally as part of the partnership.
Microsoft and FedEx hope to provide early-stage services to Dynamics 365 users in the coming months and officially launch The FedEx Range in the summer of 2020.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft and FedEx plans to announce more products to help businesses offer customers more integrated ways to purchase.