ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: THE TIME FOR CLAIMING ‘GIMMICK’ IS OVER

According to research conducted by Forbes Insights in association with Penske, 65% of senior transportation-focused executives believe that logistics, supply chain and transportation processes are in an era of profound change. They’re not wrong

This month’s tech feature looks at article intelligence (AI). AI can be used for the most mundane of tasks. In its simplest form, AI can handle data entry, data collection, comparison and optimisation: all with the highest efficiency. But it’s a little difficult to imagine AI working, when to most people it’s an abstract concept. Instead, here are a few tangible examples of the technology at work:

Fool-proof betting (aka predictive analysis)

Okay, it doesn’t have a flashy name as a whole, but predictive analysis is one of the most useful, adoptable uses of AI in my opinion.

Predictive analysis is collecting data – often astronomical amounts of data – and creating a projection of future trends. For businesses, this means you could find out what time of year you are most likely to hit peaks and troughs in trade. You could also predict what time of day, what day of the week, what month of the year you will experience the highest volume of calls into the business. Already got these covered? What about predicting potential hazards with a shipment before it’s even packed?

For example, Riskpulse Sunrise is a risk-detection service for the logistics supply chain. Input your shipment details, and it will assess current data from not only the shipment origin and destination region, but also arrival time, weather data (future and historic), social hazards, natural disaster risk, infrastructure outages. Better still, it translates all of this data into a simple system: a scale of 1 to 25, indicating low, medium or high risk of potential issues.

With the obvious benefit being that you’ll be aware of potential problems before they can even materialise, this also offers the benefit of building trust with clients. The software uses reliable data, and you can bet that clients would rather know about how any potential issues would be handled – even if they don’t manifest.  

Parcel tracking with a twist

I’m not talking only about the customer journey. AI also has a place for the couriers themselves.

Mercedes-Benz have introduced their new Cargo Recognition and Organization System, or CoROS. CoROS equips the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with an array of cameras that automatically scan and track packages as they enter and exit the vehicle. Sounds like a needless replacement at first, but when you consider the potential for cutting out package handling and delivery times along with removing human error, it becomes evident quite quickly how this technology pays for itself.

CoROS uses ‘computer vision’ and AI to recommend the most efficient loading position for the package, based on its size and final destination. It even alerts the driver to the parcel they are delivering at each stop by illuminating an LED built into the shelf. 

(…okay, it does also provide real-time tracking for customers…)

Autonomous vehicles

Self-driving trucks. Driver shortage. Need I say more?

AI has the potential to become the dream employee. No human error, no downtime necessary, no mouth to feed… But don’t worry, it’s not here to steal your job just yet. AI has been proven to work best in tandem with ‘real’ workers to improve efficiency. 

The Forbes Insight report is just one of many which proves that the most forward-thinking CEOs from the supply chain are investing in artificial intelligence to support their staff and lighten workloads. It could be time for others to follow suit.

Sarah O’Connell, Senior Editor, FORWARDER magazine  

According to research conducted by Forbes Insights in association with Penske, 65% of senior transportation-focused executives believe that logistics, supply chain and transportation processes are in an era of profound change. They’re not wrong

This month’s tech feature looks at article intelligence (AI). AI can be used for the most mundane of tasks. In its simplest form, AI can handle data entry, data collection, comparison and optimisation: all with the highest efficiency. But it’s a little difficult to imagine AI working, when to most people it’s an abstract concept. Instead, here are a few tangible examples of the technology at work:

Fool-proof betting (aka predictive analysis)

Okay, it doesn’t have a flashy name as a whole, but predictive analysis is one of the most useful, adoptable uses of AI in my opinion.

Predictive analysis is collecting data – often astronomical amounts of data – and creating a projection of future trends. For businesses, this means you could find out what time of year you are most likely to hit peaks and troughs in trade. You could also predict what time of day, what day of the week, what month of the year you will experience the highest volume of calls into the business. Already got these covered? What about predicting potential hazards with a shipment before it’s even packed?

For example, Riskpulse Sunrise is a risk-detection service for the logistics supply chain. Input your shipment details, and it will assess current data from not only the shipment origin and destination region, but also arrival time, weather data (future and historic), social hazards, natural disaster risk, infrastructure outages. Better still, it translates all of this data into a simple system: a scale of 1 to 25, indicating low, medium or high risk of potential issues.

With the obvious benefit being that you’ll be aware of potential problems before they can even materialise, this also offers the benefit of building trust with clients. The software uses reliable data, and you can bet that clients would rather know about how any potential issues would be handled – even if they don’t manifest.  

Parcel tracking with a twist

I’m not talking only about the customer journey. AI also has a place for the couriers themselves.

Mercedes-Benz have introduced their new Cargo Recognition and Organization System, or CoROS. CoROS equips the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with an array of cameras that automatically scan and track packages as they enter and exit the vehicle. Sounds like a needless replacement at first, but when you consider the potential for cutting out package handling and delivery times along with removing human error, it becomes evident quite quickly how this technology pays for itself.

CoROS uses ‘computer vision’ and AI to recommend the most efficient loading position for the package, based on its size and final destination. It even alerts the driver to the parcel they are delivering at each stop by illuminating an LED built into the shelf. 

(…okay, it does also provide real-time tracking for customers…)

Autonomous vehicles

Self-driving trucks. Driver shortage. Need I say more?

AI has the potential to become the dream employee. No human error, no downtime necessary, no mouth to feed… But don’t worry, it’s not here to steal your job just yet. AI has been proven to work best in tandem with ‘real’ workers to improve efficiency. 

The Forbes Insight report is just one of many which proves that the most forward-thinking CEOs from the supply chain are investing in artificial intelligence to support their staff and lighten workloads. It could be time for others to follow suit.

Sarah O’Connell, Senior Editor, FORWARDER magazine  

2019-01-04T10:14:03+00:00October 24th, 2018|Categories: Forward Tech|
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