FedEx and Microsoft are expanding their partnership to offer “logistics as a service” to retailers and brands, including using the latter’s Dynamics 365 order management system to glean data insights from the 17 million packages passing through the FedEx network each day.
The partners claim the combined cross-platform solution will help shippers speed up orders and make them more cost effective, provide near-real-time delivery status updates and offer the option of boxless returns at 60,000 FedEx drop-off locations.
“Nearly two years ago we set out on a mission with Microsoft to transform the commerce ecosystem,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and COO of FedEx in a release. “In that time, we’ve made significant progress, leveraging Microsoft Azure technology with our FedEx Surround solution, which provides critical support in enabling advanced monitoring of time-sensitive priority shipments.”
FedEx Surround, built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, uses AI, machine learning and analytics to monitor the risk of late deliveries due to things like bad weather or traffic delays. Shippers can then use the near-real-time data to plan alternatives and keep the delivery on track. It was unveiled in May 2020 when FedEx and Microsoft first announced their partnership.
The integration with FedEx shipping data and Dynamics 365 will be available in the second half of 2022, the companies said.