Tim Gagnon leads the new logistics and supply chain incubator, C.H. Robinson Labs. ( Courtesy C.H. Robinson )

C.H. Robinson, Eden Prairie, Minn., has started an incubator for logistics and supply chain innovations.

C.H. Robinson Labs, informally known as Robinson Labs, is designed to create and test smarter solutions for the company’s customers and carriers, according to a news release.

Tim Gagnon, vice president of analytics and data science, leads Robinson Labs and its dedicated data science teams in Minneapolis, Chicago, California’s Silicon Valley and Warsaw, Poland, according to the release.

After proven solutions are attained, the teams will collaborate to scale them across C.H. Robinson, according to the release, for its 124,000 customers and 76,000 contract carriers.

“Our customers and carriers tell us that they are hungry for tech solutions to strengthen their competitive position and increase their efficiencies,” C.H. Robinson President and CEO Bob Biesterfeld said in the release. “That’s why we have always been laser-focused on working together to solve our customers’ toughest logistics challenges.”

Robinson Labs will identify more ways to use technology and data to cut shipping costs, simplify processes and drive reliability and visibility, he said in the release.

“Through the spirit of innovation, Robinson Labs will create the newest solutions to continue driving the logistics industry forward,” Gagnon said in the release. “My team and I are actively collaborating with customers to solve their supply chain challenges, and then applying those learnings to benefit all of our customers and carriers.”

C.H. Robinson has invested $1 billion in technology, allowing Robinson Labs to leverage that investment, according to the release, including:

Digital connectivity: Robinson Labs is building transportation management capabilities and making them accessible, allowing customers to connect to C.H. Robinson where and how they want to, and giving shippers real-time market rates and tracking; and

Analytics: Robinson Labs is enhancing business intelligence software, Navisphere Insight, which is part of C.H. Robinson transportation management system. The software uses millions of data points and predictive analytics, allowing Robinson Labs to improve savings, reliability and visibility, according to the release.

Target and makeup company L’Oréal have been involved in the Navisphere Insight pilot.

“Our work with the C.H. Robinson team has helped us address some of our toughest supply chain challenges,” Adam Hall, vice president of transportation at L’Oréal, said in the release. “The Insight Analytics platform and Data Science solutions have delivered actionable intelligence and supported initiatives that are driving significant savings for L’Oréal.”

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