Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Norfolk Southern seeks supply chain start-ups

Steve Rogerson
May 22, 2018

US transportation company Norfolk Southern has announced a strategic partnership with Plug & Play, a technology start-up accelerator based in Silicon Valley, to develop artificial intelligence, machine learning, industrial IoT and analytics for supply chains.
"As we continually look for technology to improve safety, better serve our customers and improve railroad operations, this partnership will give us greater access to technology start-up companies and the broader Silicon Valley ecosystem," said Fred Ehlers, vice president at Norfolk Southern.
Plug & Play will identify and connect Norfolk Southern with start-up companies marketing technology that aligns with the transport company's operational goals. This collaboration will assist Norfolk Southern as it continues to develop business strategies in focus areas, such as automation, drone inspections, IoT-enabled asset tracking, blockchain for supply chain management, and predictive maintenance through data analytics.
"We are very excited to have Norfolk Southern on board as our newest supply chain and logistics partner," said Mike Zayonc, founder of Plug & Play Supply Chain & Logistics. “They are a perfect fit for our ecosystem of industry-leading corporate partners from multiple industries like ExxonMobil, ArcelorMittal, Lufthansa Cargo, BASF, Panasonic, Prologis, DHL and the United States Postal Service. Partnering with Norfolk Southern will let us continue to drive digital transformation in the rail industry through our programme."
Norfolk Southern Railway operates approximately 30,000 route kilometres in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern USA, and provides connections to other rail carriers. It is a transporter of coal, automotive and industrial products.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug & Play has built accelerator programmes, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster. Since inception in 2006, its programmes have expanded worldwide to include a presence in more than 20 locations globally. With over 6000 start-ups and 220 official corporate partners, it has created a start-up ecosystem in many industries.