UPS counters Amazon.com challenge with IoT, analytics

IoT sensors and data about delivery routes and vehicles are helping UPS fend off Amazon.com, its No. 1 threat in the shipping business.

UPS counters Amazon.com challenge with IoT, analytics
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Amazon.com regularly launches new points of attack on top shipping providers’ turfs. But there is one area where United Parcel Service insists it maintains a competitive advantage: using internet of things (IoT) to improve fleet and field operations.

Perhaps more than any other shipping company, UPS leverages sensor-driven analytics for anything from preventative vehicle maintenance to route optimization.

It's a critical process as UPS, fellow rivals FedEx, DHL and others grapple with the digital disruption Amazon.com has exacted on the shipping industry. Once content to simply partner with and pay shipping giants hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver shoppers anything from books to furniture, Amazon.com has begun competing more closely with its partners.

Amazon.com in June announced a program to let people launch businesses delivering its packages to shoppers. And later this year it also plans to test a new service in which company couriers pick up products from businesses that sell goods through Amazon and deliver that merchandise to its warehouses — work that UPS, FedEx and other companies currently do on its behalf.

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