Can Google Cloud Tech Help Power Food Retail?

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Can Google Cloud Tech Help Power Food Retail?

By Thad Rueter - 02/19/2021
Can Google Cloud Tech Help Power Food Retail?
Powered by Google's cloud technologies, J.B. Hunt will expand its J.B. Hunt 360° platform that digitally connects shipments and available capacity, increasing efficiencies and enhancing visibility within the platform.

Google’s latest cloud-computing win win promises to have supply chain and retail impact — and serves as an example of how technology is being used in 2021 in the larger food retail space.

Google and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America — which provides refrigerated transport — announced a multi-year strategic alliance to accelerate J.B. Hunt's digital transformation and collaborate on next-generation supply chain platform technology.

Powered by Google Cloud's innovative cloud technologies, J.B. Hunt will expand its J.B. Hunt 360° platform that digitally connects shipments and available capacity, increasing efficiencies and enhancing visibility within the platform.

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.

By leveraging Google's Data CloudJ.B. Hunt 360 will better predict outcomes, empower users, and make informed decisions. Using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools from Google Cloud, J.B. Hunt will develop new services to digitally transform the shipping and logistics experience for shippers, carriers and service providers.

Engineers and business leaders from both companies 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 innovative 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 Lowell, Arkansas-based 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."

"The transportation and logistics industry is fundamental to the health and security of the global economy," said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. "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."