XPO Logistics: Creating continuity via tech offerings

Company garners spot on FreighTech 25 list; XPO will continue to offer its suite of technology products following split

The rapid acceleration of e-commerce in 2020. Market volatility brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Tight capacity near U.S. ports. The complexities surrounding the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. These are some of the issues that could cause companies to crumble, but third-party logistics provider XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) has been able to navigate this volatile landscape in part because of the technological offerings that it provides to customers. 

That agility helped XPO Logistics secure the No. 15 spot on FreightWaves’ list of top 25 companies that seek to use or deploy technology in innovative or disruptive ways in 2020.

“This unpredictable year has highlighted the critical role of technology in ensuring supply chain continuity,” said XPO Logistics Chief Information Officer Mario Harik. “We thank FreightWaves for recognizing our commitment to advance the industry through innovation, with greater visibility and control of operations.” 

FreightWaves produces the annual list by asking a peer group of CEOs, industry leaders and investors to decide which companies should be included on FreightWaves’ FreightTech 100. That list then gets winnowed down to the FreightTech 25.

XPO Logistics’ tech offerings include XPO Connect, which allows carriers to locate the right load for their operation, bid on it or select it. The company is also seeking to use artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities to analyze consumer demand and predict inventory for its retail customers, and it wants to create products that would provide end-to-end shipment visibility and optimize sequencing.

Although the company is splitting into two, XPO Logistics plans to keep its tech offerings in place. 

XPO Logistics said last month that split will create two companies: One will include XPO’s North American and European less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload brokerage businesses, which, for now, will be called XPORemainCo, while the newly created company, comprising XPO’s North American and European logistics units, will be called NewCo. 

“The planned spin is effectively a clear-cut separation of the two reporting segments XPO has had all along,” an XPO Logistics spokesperson said. “The Transportation and Logistics businesses are both industry leaders in their own right. The remaining company will be our global transportation offering (XPORemainCo), which is primarily LTL and truck brokerage. 

“NewCo and RemainCo would be two separate public companies listed on the NYSE and both would have access to XPO’s robust technology suite in perpetuity.”

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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes XPO Logistics (No. 8).

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.