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Amazon Web Services, Bosch collaborate on logistics marketplace

Mirroring the rise of e-commerce, the emergence of online marketplaces has enabled widespread access to products and services for customers around the world. 

Superpower Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been at the forefront of the e-commerce boom, using its massive logistics capabilities to quickly fulfill orders from its marketplace around the country and world. But now, AWS will use that marketplace to offer logistics capabilities.

You read that right — AWS and Gerlingen, Germany-based global tech provider Bosch announced on Wednesday a new partnership that will see Bosch develop a logistics platform for digital services on the AWS marketplace. The new marketplace offering will give freight carriers and forwarders around the world access to support for capacity utilization, order processing, monitoring goods flows and a host of other transportation and logistics functions.

The platform will be open to all digital logistics services providers and will initially launch in the U.S., Europe and India in late 2022.

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“Developing hyperconnected transportation functions is one of the most complex technical challenges of our time. That’s why we are working with a market pioneer such as Bosch to master these unique challenges,” said Kathrin Renz, vice president of business development and industries at AWS. “The digital marketplace will enable logistics customers to quickly transform their business into a fully digital end-to-end value chain. Customers will benefit from the tools, frameworks and modules we offer for digitalization, in addition to improving the sustainability of their transportation processes.”

AWS will provide its cloud offering and marketplace expertise to the new digital logistics services platform, while Bosch will be responsible for developing and operating the marketplace itself. The platform aims to give transportation and logistics companies the full range of benefits of digitization without the need for resource- and cost-intensive IT projects.

Bosch and AWS describe the collaboration as a “complete ecosystem and software environment,” the idea being that freight carriers and forwarders can mix and match services from different providers on the platform in order to meet their specific needs. 

And through the use of data available from telematics systems in commercial vehicles, the companies say the marketplace also allows customers to link and create interplay between different services in different areas, as well as to integrate those services into existing applications like a TMS.

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“The transportation and logistics industry is the backbone of the global economy,” said Sandeep Nelamangala, executive director of Bosch Limited and executive sponsor of the logistics platform business at Bosch. “In the years ahead, it will have to shoulder continuously increasing transport volumes for goods and commodities while simultaneously reducing its carbon footprint. In collaboration with AWS, we want to help the logistics industry with this. We aim to ring in the future of the industry and drive forward its digitalization.”

The partnership between AWS and Bosch comes at a time when supply chains are busier — and more fragmented — than ever. According to the 2021 Transport Outlook from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s International Transport Forum, freight transport will grow more than 250% by 2050 compared to 2015.

At the same time, according to Bosch, around nine in 10 transportation and logistics companies operate with fewer than five vehicles, while more than half of freight forwarders still organize their daily business manually or with a patchwork of unrelated computer programs.

By wrapping up a myriad of digital logistics services under one umbrella, AWS and Bosch hope to unlock new value for the wide array of companies that are struggling to keep up with the hyperbolic pace of e-commerce.

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