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Ryder launches technology lab with FreightTech acquisition Baton

The logistics industry is undergoing a digital transformation, shedding manual practices in favor of cutting-edge technologies like AI. This shift promises to eliminate wasted time and resources, leading the way to a new era of efficiency.

In support of this mission, Ryder System Inc. (NYSE:R) said Tuesday it has launched Baton, a Ryder Technology Lab, to bring together innovative engineers to take on the complex challenges of digitizing transportation networks and operations.

Last August, Ryder acquired Baton, a fleet management solutions provider. Ryder CEO Robert Sanchez called the deal a strategic move “to bring new technology-driven solutions to market.” Ryder was also an initial investor in its acquired company during its $10.5 million Series A in March 2021.

Now Ryder plans to leverage the expertise of Baton’s founders, now Ryder’s co-chief product and technology officers Andrew Berberick and Nate Robert, to bring together talented engineers to build off Baton’s original platform, Radius, which was designed to optimize fleet networks.

Baton’s founders Nate Robert and Andrew Berberick spoke with FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller at FreightWaves Future of Freight Festival in 2022. (Photo: Jim Allen)

“Our real goal is to increase customer productivity and efficiency by overlapping their supply chains in a marketplace. … [T]hat was the solution that Ryder saw we could already build, and they now want us to scale this across the business at a much larger scale,” Berberick told FreightWaves.

He explained that engineers in the technology lab will be able to utilize Ryder’s decades of supply chain data to create proprietary language models and, over time, work toward a full-stack solution for Ryder customers.

“The establishment of a Silicon Valley-based technology lab is a natural evolution for Ryder, as we build on the $1.3 billion in strategic investments we’ve made over the past five years to develop, acquire and invest in innovative technologies, products and services that help make our customers’ logistics networks more efficient and resilient,” said Karen Jones, chief marketing officer and head of new product development for Ryder.

The lab’s engineers already include Baton’s head of engineering, Ryan Houlihan, an ex-NASA engineer who was part of the Mars Rover team, and industry veteran Erik Malin, head of operations for Baton. Other current engineers have backgrounds at companies including Meta, Apple, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Tesla, Loadsmart, Kinema Systems, PlayStation, Zynga and LinkedIn.

“We’re now actively recruiting talented technologists from some of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology firms to help solve some of the most complex problems plaguing the nearly $2.5 trillion North American transportation and logistics industry. We’re looking for engineers excited by the challenge and who want the autonomy and nimbleness of a startup environment but with the power, reach and stability of a highly respected industry titan,” said Robert in the release.

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Articles by Grace Sharkey

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