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FedEx invests in FourKites to build intelligent supply chain platform

FourKites X to offer complete picture of global supply chain operations

Strategic partnership will give FourKites access to FedEx's network, which handles 16.5 million shipments daily (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Chicago-based supply chain visibility provider FourKites have partnered to build a global supply chain intelligence platform, the companies announced Tuesday. Under the agreement, FedEx has invested an undisclosed amount in FourKites.

The new platform, FourKites X, will aim to help large shippers and logistics providers with features like dynamic planning, real-time visibility, proactive alerts and supply chain optimization insights. FourKites customers will be able to integrate the platform with their existing systems.

“Our organizations share an unwavering commitment to customer success through strategic innovation,” said Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites. “Together, we are working to pave the future of global supply chains, built on a foundation of data and machine learning to deliver new value to those global supply chains.”

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“Over time, FourKites’ core capabilities will be enhanced by the enormous amount of quality supply chain data that FedEx provides — data we did not previously have access to,” Elenjickal added in an email statement to Modern Shipper. “Dynamic ETAs, sustainability dashboards and other analytics will all benefit from our collaboration.”

FourKites X will combine the machine learning and AI capabilities of FourKites with data insights from the FedEx network, which spans 220 countries and territories and moves 16.5 million shipments every day. The combined network will be wrapped up in a suite of pre-built applications and an intuitive dashboard to provide more accurate ETAs and deeper insights.

“If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that companies need to work together in order to work smarter and faster,” said Sriram Krishnasamy, CEO of FedEx Dataworks, the business unit of FedEx that will support FourKites under the agreement. “Our collaboration with FourKites creates a data ecosystem that will deliver a new level of predictability and visibility to help businesses build smarter supply chains in today’s unpredictable and complex business environment.”

FourKites and FedEx cited an array of global disruptions as the catalyst for the partnership, namely port congestion, ongoing geopolitical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Those factors and others have contributed to a supply chain bullwhip that’s left retailers with their hands full after enduring months of inventory shortages.

Watch: FourKites View of Supply Chain Slow Down

As it stands, FourKites’ network tracks around 2.5 million shipments per day and connects the supply chains of half of the Fortune 500 list. Joining with FedEx, whose own network links 99% of the world’s GDP, is betting that more data can be the remedy to disruptions creating the supply chain bullwhip.

“When it comes to supply chain data, more is always better. The collaboration between FourKites and FedEx is exceptional in both the volume of data that it will aggregate and in the degree to which it could improve predicted times of arrival, planning and more,” said Steve Banker, vice president of supply chain services at ARC Advisory Group. “FourKites X can be a big step forward for this market.”

Updated at 5:33 p.m. with additional commentary from FourKites.

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Jack Daleo

Jack is a staff writer for FreightWaves and Modern Shipper covering topics like last mile delivery and e-commerce fulfillment. He studied at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism with a certificate in integrated marketing communications. Previously, Jack has written for Backpacker Magazine and enjoys travel, the outdoors, and all things basketball.