- Leah Barrier
Artificial Intelligence Set to Transform Traditional Freight Forwarders
Every week something else becomes completely automated. The industry wide digital progression is essentially a broken record, except the record is now downloadable from the cloud and set on repeat instead of shuffle. Times change. Industries adapt. This particular adaptation is essential to the development and even survival of freight forwarders across the board.
Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the brink of fully automating the shipping and supply chain industry as a whole? And is your logistics provider fully aware and capable of adjusting accordingly? The latter, is the only controlled inquiry in this scenario. AI stands to benefit industries worldwide, creating a smaller and more accessible world. Making sure the individuals in charge of restructuring your supply chain are privileged to updates and evolutionary work flow adaptations is imperative to the success and efficiency of your business.
The first step in industry wide autonomy is already happening. Cargofy, a mobile app startup based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has launched a tech company that modernizes the industry for independent truckers, virtually removing the need for human involvement. The virtual assistant matches trucks to freights using truck status, location, parameters, and empty space. Documents are automatically generated allowing drivers the ability to scan and sign paper work on the road for a more streamlined efficiency. Order tracking is included by way of GPS location enabling real time order updates, among other amenities. Generally speaking, allowing for autonomy in a particular mode of the industry.
The digital revolution happening now is just as impactful and comparable to both the agricultural and industrial revolutions that altered history before it. Artificial Intelligence is leading the technological way in an attempt to digitize logistics. The supply chain management industry is notoriously behind in terms of digital and electronic implementation, but steps, however so small, are being taken in a progressive and adaptable direction. “Already today, AI is prevalent in consumer-facing application, clerical enterprise functions, online and offline retail, autonomous mobility, and intelligent manufacturing. Logistics is beginning its journey to become an AI-driven industry, but the future is still rife with challenges to overcome and opportunities to exploit.” [www.supplychain247.com]
Current business and social conditions indicate favorable timing for a shift to predictive and automated logistics. Evolving to a digital supply chain will be a progressive, albeit slow, process. Other industries have already adopted autonomy in their work flow. By implementing technology and automated processes into daily logistics allows forwarders to be proactive instead of reactive in the industry and movement of freight. Keith Dierkx, IBM Global Industry Leader for Freight, Logistics, and Rail states, “By leveraging AI into core processes, companies can invest more in strategic growth imperatives to modernize or eliminate legacy application systems. This can make existing assets and infrastructure more efficient while providing the workforce with time to enhance their skills and capabilities.”
Just as the Industrial Revolution changed our social and living conditions, so too will the impending Digital Revolution. By effectively altering the way we work and communicate on a daily basis, AI will become as fluent to business as it already is to consumers.