June 19, 2019

XPO tests data analytics tool for improving dock operations

XPO tests data analytics tool for improving dock operations

Move follows company's application of XPO Smart platform for warehouse labor efficiency.

By DC Velocity Staff

Transport and logistics company XPO Logistics Inc. is testing workforce productivity tools in its North American less-than-truckload (LTL) network, saying the software could make dock operations more efficient by applying data analytics.

Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO said Tuesday it is piloting its XPO Smart platform at LTL terminals in Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina. The company expects to conclude the LTL pilot program in the third quarter and begin a phased roll-out of the new tools to its 290 terminals.

XPO had previously launched a labor productivity module for its XPO Smart product in March when it rolled out a set of warehouse optimization tools to 20 logistics facilities and said it planned to apply it to 200 sites by year-end. That system is designed to give DC managers a "technological microscope" for examining warehouse operations as measured by workers' output and productivity, XPO said at the time.

Applied to LTL hubs, the system compares real-time productivity rates with the number of active dock workers, using machine learning to predict how adjustments in labor levels affect productivity. The tool tracks motor moves (goods moved from dock to truck) against production targets and analyzes productivity gaps to improve performance, XPO said.

"While the dynamics of labor productivity differ from service to service, the goal is the same: the greatest possible efficiency for our customers," Mario Harik, chief information officer of XPO Logistics, said in a release. "With XPO Smart, we have the infrastructure in place to achieve this. Our pilot LTL operators are acting on insights gained from site-specific machine learning and our predictive analytics."

The move is XPO's second recent move to improve efficiency through technology tools, following its announcement last week that its "Drive XPO" mobile app for carriers was seeing rising adoption by U.S. truck drivers searching for loads on the company's digital freight marketplace.

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