UPS Expands Agreement With Google Cloud To Prepare For Data Surge

Google Cloud, as a logistics company, is rolling out new data initiatives.

As part of the expansion, UPS will benefit from increased network, storage and compute capacity. It will continue to use Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to analyze its incoming data, which is expected to increase with the introduction of initiatives such as the placement of radio frequency identification chips on packaging.

The companies declined to comment on the magnitude of the increase in cloud capacity or the value of the deal.

“The potential is limitless”

Juan Perez,

The chief information and engineering officer at UPS said of the expansion, adding that UPS is facing a huge increase in incoming data, in part because of the number of packages it delivers. In 2021, it delivered more than 25 million packages a day, up from 24.7 million a day in 2020, a company spokesperson said.

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The plan to attach RFID chips to packages would provide more detailed data on the location of packages, Perez said. The initiative is in its early stages, a company spokesperson said, adding that the chips are now present on packages delivered with UPS’s Premiere service tier and have been used to help provide doses of vaccine against Covid-19.

As the RFID program grows, “we need to get to a place where we can analyze that data much faster,” Perez said. “That’s why now is the perfect time to do it. »

RFID data and other packaging information will be analyzed in the cloud by UPS’s Harmonized Enterprise Analytics Tool, which has been developed in conjunction with Google Cloud over the past few years. Using data, HEAT determines the most efficient path for packages to travel from their point of origin to local delivery facilities, taking into account circumstances such as significant weather and traffic events.

HEAT works in tandem with UPS’s on-road navigation and optimization system. Orion, a algorithm designed to find the most efficient routes for drivers to route packages from local delivery facilities to recipients, was launched in 2012 and is not cloud-based.

Kirsten Kliphouse, President of Google Cloud for North America, said now is the right time to expand the relationship between Google Cloud and UPS, in part due to increased data points from UPS operations. and the need for further analysis.

“The need for us to come together has just accelerated,” she said. “It’s always been there, but the need has now become even greater, and the capabilities of what we’re able to deliver with the technology we have today allow it to be a real way to deliver value. . »

The Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the rise of e-commerce have prompted logistics companies to seek more detailed data on things like truck locations and delivery routes, said Jordan Speer, head of supply chain research at International Data Corp. “Trying to optimize all of these things is a way to enable much better service and higher profitability. “, she said.

The deal with Google “is a great conclusion to a lot of things we’ve done in digital transformation,” said Perez, who is leaving UPS this week after 32 years.

He is ready to become CIO of a software company Inc.

April 4. UPS is conducting an external search for its successor, Perez said.

write to Isabelle Bousquette [email protected]

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UPS Expands Agreement With Google Cloud To Prepare For Data Surge

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