FedEx Surround will provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking.

FedEx Surround will provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking.

Photo: FedEx

FedEx and Microsoft announced they are teaming up to “reinvent the end-to-end commerce experience” around the world, launching the collaboration with the FedEx Surround supply chain visibility solution.

The two companies say combining the FedEx digital and logistics network with the power of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud will give businesses “an unprecedented level of control and insight into the global movement of goods.” The announcement noted that FedEx networks link more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product across 220 countries and territories, and Microsoft Azure is used by more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies.

FedEx Surround allows any business to enhance visibility into its supply chain by using data to provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking, which will drive more precise logistics and inventory management. It will provide near-real-time insights — down to the granular level of ZIP code, for example — into the progress and movement of physical inventory.

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 offer 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 offers an opportunity to intervene early and act to avoid logistical slowdowns before they occur. And with every package that ships, FedEx Surround will analyze past trends to identify future opportunities for streamlined shipping.

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

“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.

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