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Supply chain visibility platform FourKites has announced a new $100m (£73m) funding to help expand into the UK and wider Europe.

It said the funding will enable it to offer a "bold new vision for the future of global digital supply chains across the UK", spanning transportation, warehouses, stores, trucks and shipping.

The platform uses machine learning to predict arrival times and anticipates supply chain congestion through an extensive network of data points.

The financing was led by Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) with participation from other parties including Volvo Group Venture Capital.

The move ties in with predictions last April by analytics company GlobalData that the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing transport and logistics companies to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies.

"Big data" and "digital twins" would be the technologies that UK transport companies would be likely to adopt in the wake of the pandemic, GloalData said.

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Technology expert Paul Cuatracasas agreed that the pandemic is a “huge wake-up call” for the sector and will speed the development of “fully autonomous end-to end logistics operations starting with robots working in completely automated factories”.

Mathew Elenjickal, founder and chief executive of FourKites said he was looking forward to “partnering with investors to enable true end-to-end visibility to unlock tremendous value for the entire supply chain ecosystem”.

“This latest funding round, following a year of record growth for FourKites, validates our vision of breaking down the barriers across today’s supply chains — between transportation, warehouses, stores and siloed technology systems,” he said.

“We look forward to expanding our services throughout Europe, starting in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK, and partnering with our investors to enable true end-to-end visibility to unlock tremendous value for the entire supply chain ecosystem. Our platform enables shippers and suppliers to enter the next digital supply chain era.”

Added THL MD Mike Kaczmarek: “FourKites will continue to benefit from secular mega-trends, such as automation penetration and increased supply chain complexity. We are thrilled to lead this funding round as part of our vision to invest in companies that will steer the future of supply chain automation.”

FourKites pioneered real-time supply chain visibility in 2014 and has since built a platform that helps leading brands track their shipments across every mode of transportation (road, rail, ocean, air) and uses machine learning to predict exact times of arrival. This helps organizations lower operating costs, improve on-time performance and create better customer relationships.