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Logistics firm XPO integrates with virtual assistants to help you track deliveries

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Wondering where your delivery is? Alexa or Google Assistant can tell you. This week, XPO Logistics, the largest provider of last-mile deliveries for large items in North America, introduced voice-enabled delivery tracking through both Amazon and Google’s smart assistants. Now, folks who have an Echo or Google Home device can simply ask their A.I.-powered helpers where their packages are, and better still, schedule or reschedule deliveries.

Beginning next month, if you tell Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to set a new delivery date, the smart assistant will activate a change in XPO’s internal logistics tracking and dispatching software. The new delivery time and date will be transmitted to a driver’s mobile app, ensuring a seamless process.

XPO claims to be the first delivery and warehousing company across the globe to give its customers such an option. While trucking and delivering packages is a rather old-school industry, XPO is looking to inject a bit of 21st-century technology into the process, and perhaps cut down on the customer frustration that often comes with being unable to find a package, or having to jump through hoops in order to find a good day for a delivery.

“We are responding to where consumers want to go (to manage their deliveries),” XPO Chief Information Officer Mario Harik told Reuters, explaining how the company is adjusting to technological innovations. As it stands, XPO either makes or manages around 35,000 deliveries to homes across North America on a daily basis, and specializes in delivering larger goods like barbecue grills from Home Depot, furniture from Crate and Barrel, or large television sets from Best Buy.

As Troy Cooper, chief operating officer of XPO Logistics, said, “Today’s consumers expect access to, and control over, their personal experience within the supply chain. We’re adding simple yet powerful tools that use connectivity to strengthen these relationships.”

XPO has been expanding its network quite a bit over the last several months. Last September, the company announced that it would be adding to its last mile network with the addition of 85 last mile hubs. This, XPO claims, will help the company serve about 90 percent of the population across its delivery region. And just a few months ago, XPO added new last mile operations in five European countries as well.

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