FedEx, Microsoft Announce Partnership To Challenge Amazon

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Organizations need efficient supply chains to be competitive and open for business. FedEx will use Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, and AI capabilities to meet this need.

Microsoft and FedEx have signed a multi-year agreement to optimize delivery services and “transform commerce”, utilizing Microsoft Azure and FedEx’s logistics network.

The partnership has already yielded its first service, called FedEx Surround, which will provide customers with real-time supply chain and delivery analytics.

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Through this, businesses may be able to improve shipping times, avoid weather delays, and receive actionable insights to reduce costs, according to Microsoft.

“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, CEO of 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.”

With more on-the-ground intelligence, FedEx may be able to offer personalized services for customers and businesses. This could include real-time updates on the driver’s location and time-of-delivery, while also providing the driver with more efficient route management.

FedEx ended its ground shipping contract with Amazon in August last year, two months after it ended its FedEx Express contract for air packages. This latest move, to use Microsoft Azure technology, shows the animosity between FedEx and Amazon.

Amazon has spent the past few years building out its own delivery infrastructure, seen as a move to cut out delivery companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In retaliation, more suppliers are moving their logistics services to Azure instead of Amazon Web Services.

“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.”

Alongside improvements to regular deliveries, FedEx is investing heavily in new technologies for last-mile performance. It is a Google Wing partner and has built its own sidewalk-riding delivery robot.

David Curry

About David Curry

David is a technology writer with several years experience covering all aspects of IoT, from technology to networks to security.

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