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Logistics & Supply Chain

FedEx and Microsoft join forces to transform commerce

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FedEx and Microsoft join forces to transform commerce. Image: FedEx
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FedEx Corp and Microsoft Corp announced a new multiyear collaboration to help transform commerce by combining the global digital and logistics network of FedEx with the power of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud.

Together, FedEx and Microsoft aim to create opportunities for their customers through multiple joint offerings powered by Azure and Dynamics 365 that will use data and analytics solutions to reinvent the most critical aspects of the commerce experience and enable businesses to better compete in today’s increasingly digital landscape.

“FedEx has been reimagining the supply chain since our first day of operation, and we are taking it to a new level with today’s announcement,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO, FedEx. “Together with Microsoft, we will combine the immense power of technology with the vast scale of our infrastructure to help revolutionize commerce and create a network for what’s next for our customers.”

This new strategic alliance represents a long-term commitment between the companies to fuel innovation, collaborate on product development and share subject-matter expertise.

Today, FedEx networks link more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product across 220 countries and territories, and Microsoft Azure is trusted by more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies. By combining the breadth and scale of the FedEx network and the Microsoft cloud, businesses will have an unprecedented level of control and insight into the global movement of goods.

“Now more than ever, organizations are counting on an efficient and capable supply chain to remain competitive and open for business,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.  “Together with FedEx, we will apply the power of Azure, Dynamics 365 and their AI capabilities to this urgent need, building new commerce experiences that transform logistics for our mutual customers around the world.”

Announcing FedEx Surround — driving digital illumination of the physical world

FedEx Surround, the first solution resulting from the FedEx and Microsoft collaboration, allows any business to enhance visibility into its supply chain by leveraging data to provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking, which will drive more precise logistics and inventory management.

While most carriers are reactive to global logistics dynamics with limited visibility options built into a package’s journey, FedEx Surround will provide near-real-time insights — down to the granular level of ZIP code, for example — to shine a digital light on the progress and movement of physical inventory.

The benefits offered by FedEx Surround will extend to any business with a supply chain and particularly those that depend on highly time-sensitive deliveries.

For example, a hospital may urgently need a package to help save a life, or a part may need rapid transport to a manufacturing facility to avoid an operational shutdown. In each instance, the near-real-time data insights provided by FedEx Surround offer a significant advantage to not only the organizations using the platform but also the people they serve.

FedEx Surround can also collect multiple data points gathered through the enhanced scanning and proprietary IoT technology of FedEx and analyze them using Microsoft’s broad suite of AI, machine learning and analytics solutions.

This will provide participating businesses with not only enhanced visibility of a package’s location during its journey, but also knowledge of global commerce conditions and external challenges in near-real-time, such as severe weather or natural disasters, mechanical delays, clearance issues, and incorrect addresses.

This unprecedented level of data-driven insight will give FedEx Surround customers the opportunity to intervene early and act to avoid logistical slowdowns before they occur to reduce friction and costs. And with every package that ships, FedEx Surround will analyze past trends to identify future opportunities for streamlined shipping, creating a stronger and more resilient commercial ecosystem.

Information regarding FedEx Surround availability will be shared beginning this summer, and customer access will be rolled out in the months ahead.

FedEx and Microsoft expect to announce additional solutions as part of their collaboration in the coming months, which will leverage even more Microsoft technologies, including Dynamics 365. This includes reimagining commerce experiences for businesses to offer consumers more integrated ways to shop, and faster and more efficient deliveries.

Logistics & Supply Chain

Körber to shape supply chain of the future in Latin America with majority stake investment in Otimis

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The Körber Group continues to invest in its Business Area Logistics Systems, acquiring a majority stake in Brazil-based Otimis Ltda. The supply chain management software and consulting company grows and strengthens warehousing and logistics operations for customers across the globe.

In light of advances in technology and digitization of supply chain processes, companies are looking for supply chain technology partners that can service them on a global basis. To address this market demand for global providers, Körber Logistics Systems has extended its service and support capabilities into Latin America with addition of Otimis. Otimis extends Körber’s existing customer service capabilities in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Otimis has been an implementation partner and reseller of the supply chain management solutions of Körber Logistics’ company HighJump since 2004. By joining Körber, Otimis now has access to a complete portfolio of supply chain technologies including supply chain management software, industrial voice solutions, autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) and material handling automation.

Otimis has locations in Blumenau and São Paulo, Brazil and Santiago, Chile, with plans for expansion in Mexico. This follows Körber’s recent acquisition of the majority stake in the Cohesio Group, the leading integrator of voice-directed and AMR solutions for logistics in APAC.

“This is a further component of our successful internationalization strategy,” says Stephan Seifert, Chairman of the Executive Board of Körber AG. “With Otimis, we have an ideal basis for further growth in Latin America and for offering our customers market-leading logistics solutions”.

“The trusted and successful cooperation that has grown over the years between HighJump and Otimis has encouraged us to take the next step – bringing Otimis under the Körber umbrella,” adds Dirk Hejnal, CEO of the Business Area Logistics Systems. “Essentially a beachhead in the region, the addition of Otimis to Körber Logistics empowers us, along with companies worldwide, with another means to think globally, while executing locally”.

Hélcio Lenz, founder and CEO of Otimis, says: “Our local roots coupled with the strength of the global Körber network are ideal prerequisites for sustainable growth for us and our customers. The entire Otimis team and I look forward to being part of Körber and shaping the supply chain of the future together”.

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Air Freight

GEODIS supports rising medical company Labmed to supply health protection goods to Europe and North America

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GEODIS supports rising medical company Labmed to supply health protection goods to Europe and North America. Image: Geodis
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GEODIS is providing LabMed with customs brokerage, short-term storage solutions and transport management services from LabMed’s factory in China via a distribution hub in Singapore to a wide array of international destinations including India, Malaysia, Germany and the United States.

“In terms of fulfilling our multi-faceted needs, GEODIS has been well up to the task,” says Wilson Ang, LabMed’s Regional Managing Director in Singapore. “The close attention and efficiency of the GEODIS staff has been impressive, from the local service in China to the performance at our many destinations.”

The partnership between LabMed, a family owned subsidiary of Kin Seng Hong Pte, and GEODIS began in early May 2020, with the immediate need to swiftly react to fast-changing market demands and devising flexible end-to-end supply chain solutions. LabMed has been called upon to significantly increase its production of surgical masks, sanitising gel and other PPE at its own plant in Dong Guan, Southern China.

From initial small shipments of 10 tons of sanitizer to India to bulk supplies of millions of masks to Germany, LabMed’s pipeline of PPE has grown rapidly to include other parts of South-East Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

“In Asia-Pacific, GEODIS has a strong focus on enabling Asian based SME businesses to grow their markets”, comments Rene Bach-Larsen, GEODIS’ Sub-Regional Managing Director, ASEAN. “While GEODIS is a trusted partner to global multinationals, we also function as the lifeblood of regional economies through the services we provide.”

“During the current pandemic, we are even more intimately involved in the business of local customers who partner with us. As an essential service, we continue to fast-track their growth, using for instance, specially arranged weekly scheduled flights to many destinations and locating the necessary carrier capacity, whatever the mode. Our GEODIS colleagues at delivery locations around the world enable a truly door-to-door service for vital supplies to reach frontline workers and protect many more.”

The current crisis has required innovative responses from logistics professionals to achieve their customer’s delivery goals. Unprecedented demand peaks on certain trade routes, widely variable carrier capacity across transport modes, critical time constraints, staffing issues and communications challenges have blighted almost all international supply chains.  In providing such response, the application of ingenuity and tailored solutions benefit greatly from the ability of supply chain management to be controlled by one entity.

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Freight Forwarding

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics implements CargoWise to further drive digitization

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Hellmann Worldwide Logistics implements CargoWise to further drive digitization. Image: WiseTech Global
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Hellmann Worldwide Logistics announced the rollout of CargoWise, the integrated single-platform logistics solution of WiseTech Global. The new Transport Management System will be implemented for all Air and Sea freight operations across the global Hellmann network.

Hellmann, the globally active logistics service provider, will implement CargoWise to enhance operational processes within its global Air and Sea freight operations by standardizing systems and databases and enabling more efficient resource usage across the entire supply chain.

In addition, the integration of CargoWise with Hellmann’s customer facing solutions further optimizes customer experience by allowing for an automated and transparent information exchange with clients around the globe. Following the completion of a pilot phase, Hellmann will implement CargoWise across 42 countries including the US, Australia, Germany, the UK, India, South Korea, South Africa and Hong Kong.

“Transcending the challenges in global logistics sustainably and further developing the service quality for our customers, requires a global integrated platform that can provide end-to-end logistics execution. Essential to our decision was uncompromising delivery of real-time and accurate data visibility, a high degree of automation and a strong compliance and risk mitigation. Another argument in favor of CargoWise was the ability to integrate with existing systems,” said Reiner Heiken, Chief Executive Officer of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

“We are passionate about providing our people with a stimulating and empowering working environment. With the global rollout of CargoWise, we will enable our staff to deliver their full potential and add further value to our customers.”

WiseTech Global Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Richard White, said: “We are pleased that Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has chosen CargoWise as their freight forwarding solution for their Air and Sea freight operations globally. CargoWise will provide Hellmann with a highly scalable platform that will not only improve compliance, safety, and visibility, but also enable invaluable improvements to productivity across their global supply chain ecosystem.”

Licensed across  around 150 countries, CargoWise enables logistics service providers to execute highly complex transactions in areas such as freight forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing, shipping, tracking, land transport, e-commerce, and cross-border compliance, allowing them to manage their operations on one database across multiple users, functions, countries, languages, and currencies.

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