Technology

FedEx, Microsoft are teaming up to deliver packages, widening gap with Amazon

A FedEx employee wearing a protective mask and gloves loads boxes into a truck amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 28, 2020 in New York,

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Microsoft and FedEx ad a multi-year joint partnership on Monday which, the pair said, could help “transform commerce” via the FedEx logistics network and Microsoft’s cloud.

The two said their first service, called FedEx Surround, would provide real-time supply chain and delivery analytics, so companies could potentially ship goods better.

The companies have not disclosed the full nature of the partnership, including how much FedEx will pay Microsoft for using its Azure cloud technology. But the partnership is yet another example of Amazon competitors choosing to go with Microsoft’s cloud offering on the cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon and FedEx are becoming increasingly competitive, as Amazon is investing heavily in building its own shipping network. FedEx announced last year that it would end its ground delivery contract with Amazon. Amazon still gives FedEx a lot of business, but many believe that Amazon will eventually ship everything itself without the help of third parties.

Microsoft and FedEx’s offering, which will be available later this year, will collect data via FedEx’s IoT technology and analyze it through Microsoft’s suite of services, and could help predict issues that would slow delivery, such as extreme weather conditions or customs clearance issues. This could allow companies to change routes to deliver goods faster.

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