How AI Will Revolutionize Shipping
New technology solutions are making waves in logistics, especially around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). With huge potential for growth and supply chain improvement, logistics companies are using AI to build upon existing digital solutions and make them even more efficient.
AI and machine learning can simplify and optimize transportation spend, reduce empty miles and help track freight in every step of the transportation cycle.
On digital marketplaces, shippers can post freight loads and carriers can buy and offer quotes for their services. One benefit of this type of technology is that it removes the need for multiple phone calls that slow down the shipping process. With AI and machine learning, digital load boards become an even faster solution for negotiating.
Logistics companies are leveraging AI to forecast prices in real time. They use historical prices, shipping data, bidding activities and numerous other factors to determine price and provide shippers and carriers with reliable, real-time information. This helps shippers manage their spend and helps carriers set prices that are beneficial to both parties.
To be trained and produce accurate results, these algorithms require years of accumulated granular transportation data, together with quick feedback loops. Many of the new AI features the industry is seeing on digital platforms are built upon decades of data from both shippers and carriers.
Shippers and other organizations are investing to create more environmentally friendly solutions as we head toward a greener future. One of the most effective ways companies can reduce the environmental strain of logistics is by minimizing empty miles, estimated at between 15% and 35% of total driven miles.
AI algorithms and recommendation engines can be employed on digital load boards to help carriers locate the right loads and build optimized routes, which helps them better handle available capacity while cutting back on wasted fuel.
AI and ML can also be used to give shippers insights into the environmental impact of their company’s operations, with algorithms that help calculate carbon footprint.
Keeping track of orders is a necessity for shippers. With AI-powered algorithms, tech-enabled freight companies can provide shippers with actionable information about their freight activity.
This technology allows shippers to track location and estimated delivery times in real time. With this increased visibility, shippers can better optimize transportation spend, mitigate risks and proactively take action.
Shipping insights save money and contribute to a better delivery experience for end consumers. Tracking technology also gives carriers insights into their fleet’s freight activity, helping them plan for future moves and proactively address exceptions.
The Future of Shipping
Looking to the future, generative AI opens the door to new innovations, such as using automated intelligence to deduce responses, predictions, and forecasts based on patterns.
Generative AI could be used as a digital assistant to help shippers build a customized shipping strategy, assess different supply chain scenarios, or highlight risk factors and recommend shipping risk mitigation.
While the logistics sector has barely scratched the surface, AI and ML will continue to pave the way for new advancements in shipping.