Transportation and logistics provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Wednesday it would accelerate its digital transformation plans through a “multi-year strategic alliance” with cloud computing tech vendor Google Inc.
The Lowell, Arkansas-based trucking fleet said it would expand its J.B. Hunt 360 digital freight matching platform that connects shipments with available capacity, thus increasing efficiencies and enhancing visibility within the platform.
According to J.B. Hunt, it will use Google's Data Cloud to centralize data from a current “patchwork of IT systems” across supply chain, capacity utilization, pricing, and transportation execution. J.B. Hunt 360 will then apply cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to better predict outcomes, empower users, and make informed decisions. The end result will help reduce waste, friction, and inefficiencies for shippers, carriers, and service providers, the company said.
To reach that goal, engineers and business leaders from both companies will focus on three areas: using Google Cloud’s Anthos-brand “managed application platform” to support a consistent experience across multiple cloud environments; applying data science to drive better efficiency; and collaborating on innovations to pursue a shared roadmap to future solutions like real-time visibility and predictive modeling.
"The transportation and logistics industry is fundamental to the health and security of the global economy," Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said in a release. "Our partnership with J.B. Hunt creates a unique opportunity to transform the shipping and logistics experience through the use of AI, ML, and other technologies to help businesses—and the logistics industry as a whole—innovate for the future."