By implementing Google Cloud solutions, including AI and machine learning tools, J.B. Hunt hopes to create the most efficient transportation network in North America.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services (jbhunt.com), Lowell, Ark., has entered a multi-year strategic alliance with Google (google.com), Sunnyvale, Calif., to accelerate J.B. Hunt’s digital transformation.
In a joint announcement, the companies said they would collaborate on next-generation supply chain platform technology. “Powered by Google Cloud’s technologies, the alliance will expand the J.B. Hunt 360° platform that digitally connects shipments and available capacity, increasing efficiencies and enhancing visibility within the platform,” the firms said.
“Real-time data is a cornerstone in the $1 trillion logistics industry, as customers have increased expectations for faster services and more transparency on their shipments. Today’s carriers rely on a patchwork of IT systems across supply chain, capacity utilization, pricing, and transportation execution. J.B. Hunt’s 360 platform aims to centralize data from across these different systems, helping reduce waste, friction and inefficiencies,” the companies said.
The partnering firms say they will focus on three transformational areas:
—Open Cloud Capabilities to Create a Sophisticated Operating Model: As a part of its multicloud strategy, the J.B. Hunt 360 platform will tap into Google Cloud’s commitment to an Open Cloud and adopt Google Cloud’s Anthos to provide a consistent development and operations experience across cloud environments. Google Cloud’s leading AI and ML tools, including Cloud AI Platform, AutoML and Recommendations AI, combined with J.B. Hunt’s transportation expertise, will create enhanced levels of visibility into the supply chain.
—Data Science to Drive Efficiency: J.B. Hunt will leverage Google Cloud’s Data Cloud, including data analytics and AI and ML capabilities, to build reliable, repeatable, and extensible workflows. Now J.B. Hunt will be able to quickly produce ML models and break down data silos to optimize solutions in real-time and offer predictive analytics for shippers, carriers and other service providers.
—Co-Innovation to Drive Future Solutions: Google and J.B. Hunt are creating an innovation framework and roadmap that brings together each company’s engineering talents to create entirely new solutions that will be rolled out over time, including real-time visibility and predictive modeling. In addition, by leveraging Google’s data analytics solutions such as BigQuery, J.B. Hunt can now create a secure, scalable, and cost-effective data warehouse to support the J.B. Hunt 360 marketplace.
“Joining forces with Google was a natural fit, considering both companies’ histories of trailblazing and industry disruption,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt. “Powering J.B. Hunt 360 on Google Cloud will help drive us forward in our mission to create the most efficient transportation network in North America. This alliance is groundbreaking in our industry and we expect it will produce innovative solutions meeting transportation and logistics needs. This is an exciting time for our organization and those we serve, as we launch this initiative alongside Google.”
DOLE OPENS NEW PLANT
Dole Packaged Foods has opened a 60,000-square-foot frozen fruit facility in McDonough, Ga. The facility is fully automated with four manufacturing lines capable of producing 60 million pounds of frozen fruit annually.
It will package frozen fruit for Dole’s retail, food service and private label customers on the East Coast. Production is being phased in and the plant should be fully operational by September. When at full speed the facility will employ more than 100 Dole associates and will run three shifts.
This is Dole’s third frozen fruit facility in the country. Others are in Atwater, Calif., and Decatur, Mich. Dole (dolesunshine.com) is based in West-lake Village, Calif.
ASN FOR SQEP, ANYONE?
Dublin, Calif.-based iTradeNetwork (iTradeNetwork.com) has implemented a Walmart-compliant Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) on its platform. This solution allows perishables suppliers to seamlessly adhere to Walmart’s updated Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP) protocols.
iTradeNetwork implemented changes to its platform to meet Walmart’s previous round of SQEP updates in 2017 and 2018. As a result of those efforts, participating suppliers increased their Walmart trading volumes on average by 55% within 12 months — with some suppliers increasing Walmart trading volume by as much as 300% on the iTradeNetwork platform.
ITradeNetwork is a global provider of supply chain management solutions for more than 8,000 customers in the food and beverage industry. Its technology platform allows distributors, manufacturers, operators, retailers, suppliers, and wholesalers of all sizes to reduce cost, grow revenue, and strengthen trading partner relationships, according to the company. The platform also provides one-stop-shopping for freight, food traceability, shelf-life estimates and Walmart SQEP compliance, creating efficiencies for buyers and sellers.
‘LINEAGE LINK’ DEBUTS
Lineage Logistics, Novi., Mich., has launched Lineage Link through a partnership with Turvo, the San Francisco-based provider of collaborative logistics software for global supply chains.
The unified and fully integrated supply-chain solution seamlessly connects the Lineage network, driving collaboration, performance and efficiency for all supply chain participants, according to the company.
The platform is said to give customers unprecedented insight and control to enable more agile and informed decisions, providing visibility across locations, orders, inventories, transportation and warehouse appointment scheduling.
Lineage will deploy Turvo’s technology at more than 200 facilities by 2021 and ultimately across the majority of its global network of 330+ facilities in 15 countries worldwide. A press release from the company said Turvo’s technology allows warehouses across Lineage’s network to share assets, such as customer service personnel, across multiple warehouse management systems (WMS) and forms a foundation that can ingest data into a single repository then distribute it across multiple applications.
THERMO KING LAUNCHES BLUE TRACK
Minneapolis-based Thermo King (thermoking.com) is launching Blue Track by Thermo King, expanding its customer-centric service delivery model. The move comes after the program completed successful pilot programs at dealerships in North America and Europe. It is now integrated into participating dealerships in North America, providing customers with standardized and enhanced service offerings. Edward Corry, president and owner, Thermo King of the Southeast, said the service “focuses on what’s most important to our customers — express lane service, dwell-time monitoring and real-time updates to customers.”
The program investigates all possible causes that could lead to a delay in getting back on the road, according to James Marino, exec vp, Convoy Servicing Company. He said it enhances every step of the service process, from arrival to a triage process, to express lane service and parts availability.”