Artificial intelligence and freight: what happens when AI takes over?
Artificial intelligence is taking over all aspects of the supply chain industry. What is the future of freight when artificial intelligence takes over? How will AI change the industry?
With the rapid evolution of new technologies, we are on the verge of another major paradigm shift in the freight industry. We’ve already seen the revolutionary power of the internet of things (IoT). After that, many of us have also taken full advantage of blockchain. Implementing this technology into our supply chains for better transparency, privacy, and efficiency. An enormous flood of data has arrived, and if you’re not going along for the ride, you’re going to get swept away. It always seems that something new is on the way. Enter artificial intelligence and machine learning, which each promise what could be limitless potential for advancements in freight.
When many people think of AI, they imagine some kind of science fiction, high-tech utopia in which we all have robot butlers and cars drive themselves. While that might not be as far-fetched as we once thought, it’s nowhere near where we are today. But what ways can we implement artificial intelligence to the freight industry right now? Supply chain management can benefit from AI systems in numerous ways. It includes chatbots, smart-warehousing, better forecasting, and more efficient data harnessing. Let’s take a closer look.
Forecast and predictive analysis
Artificial intelligence can easily identify even the most subtle patterns: from when your buyers will likely be ready to make their next purchases, to when your trucks will need specific kinds of maintenance, to which transportation method and route is the fastest or the most cost-effective, to how the weather is likely to affect how you ship. As we all know, the logistics sector deals with myriad factors that can all have major impacts on your bottom line.
Thanks to artificial intelligence’s hyper-efficient, real-time data harnessing, much of the guesswork we used to be subjected to in logistics is now a thing of the past. You have the opportunity to track your how, where, and when with unprecedented detail. This will allow you to predict problems before they arrive, and to make more minute adjustments to keep things running smoothly. For example, the cost of shipping certain loads will inevitably vary throughout the year. AI can continuously monitor these rates while keeping track of all other interrelated variables, to bring you remarkably accurate price forecasting–while also allowing you arranging inventory in a more efficient way.
Freight, Artificial Intelligence and Smart warehousing
As we’ve discussed, as a logistician you have to be like a chess player. It’s a complex game with many pieces, and you have to be an expert at managing them all. This is especially true in warehousing. You have to track volumes, coordinate incoming and outgoing shipments, and meticulously manage your space and workflow. As we’ve already suggested, AI data collection and analysis can help you do that better than ever before. And guess what? The future is even brighter when it comes to AI’s potential in warehousing. Imagine a future in which robots work 24/7 shifts intelligently assembling, packaging, sorting, loading, and shipping goods faster and with fewer errors than humans ever could. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not: it’s actually already happening all over the globe.
Warehousing drones have proven themselves to be an amazing tool in warehouse management.
With drones monitoring the warehouse, your operation could be almost completely automated. You could be receiving constant, real-time digital updates to make sure that everything is going according to plan. Imagine how much wasted time and other resources you can prevent by being able to monitor all this data so closely and quickly? Gone are the days of waiting for an employee to tell you that something crucial to your operation broke last week and that you’re hemorrhaging money because of it! Timing is key in all aspects of business, but in the world of logistics and freight–which are the backbone of the entire economy, it is of paramount importance. When logistics and freight fail, so does everything else.
Autonomous vehicles could be considered the pinnacle achievement of AI in the field of logistics–one that we’ve yet to fully realize. Engineers are trying to make vehicles to drive as humans do but without humans. This is no small task, but we’ve already seen some amazing strides. Industry giants are teaming up left and right to create efficient delivery trucks that will be aware of their surroundings. It means adding the ability to monitor traffic conditions and even differentiates pedestrians from other vehicles and objects.
But we are also seeing certain startups thinking even further outside the box. For example, why risk your trucks getting stuck in traffic at all when you can just have a flying drone transport your freight? We realize that these are very ambitious projects. But, they hold the key to an entirely new kind of future–and we’re getting closer to a world full of such inventions every day.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the lowly chatbot. Chatbots are actually pretty useful tools when it comes to streamlining processes and solving everyday menial tasks. How can you use chatbots in the world of logistics? They can conduct basic conversations with suppliers, submit requests, and even fill out necessary documentation for you. They are just a smart little addition to your team. Remember that you will always need a real human to make sure they’re operating exactly as you need them too.
The future is near! And in a lot of ways, it’s already here! If you’re serious about staying cutting edge as we approach 2020, it’s time to consider ways to incorporate artificial intelligence into your venture as soon as possible. It’s the next big trend in creating a healthy business ecosystem. The system that will work seamlessly and keep you ahead of the competition. And as always, stay up to date with Freight Management Logistics for the latest news about the industry.