October 14, 2022 | Logistics
Artificial intelligence enables machines to sense, comprehend, learn and act at human-like levels, through experience via iterative processing and algorithmic training.
An MHI study projects accelerated growth in artificial intelligence - rising from 14% to 73% over the next 5 years.
With rapid developments in the field of machine learning, computing power and big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining significant traction in the logistics sector.
Many AI features such as prediction, intelligent workflow automation, robotics and vision recognition have demonstrated significant advantages in logistics companies. Global players such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL have invested heavily in AI to maintain their competitive advantage. Here are a few use cases where artificial intelligence has contributed greatly to logistics operations:
Predictive Capabilities of AI have made demand forecasting easier. When inventory is behind the demand schedule, businesses lose money. Network planning and demand planning are becoming more efficient thanks to AI, which enables merchandisers to be more proactive. Knowing what to anticipate allows them to modify their stock levels and guide inventory to areas where they expect the most demand, resulting in lower operational costs.
Use Case "Shell Inventory Optimiser," a product that uses advanced analytics on historical data to optimize operational spare part inventory levels, was created in a collaboration between Shell and Equinor. Equinor expects this tool to reduce inventory inflow by as much as 13%, saving millions.
Smart Warehouse Systems are able to recognize patterns, regularities and dependencies from unstructured data by using the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. They can then adapt, independently and dynamically, to new circumstances throughout the entire logistics system. As a result, monotonous jobs become simpler, and operations become more efficient and cost-effective.
Use Case Cainiao, the logistics division of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, has declared the opening of business at its brand-new smart warehouse in Huiyang, Guangdong province. The warehouse has more than 100 self-charging, Wi-Fi-equipped AGVs (automated guided vehicles) to oversee transporting products. Alibaba claims that since the warehouse started operating in July, employee productivity has tripled.
AI-Powered Route Planning can help the transport and logistics industries integrate data from various sources and make intelligent judgments regarding travel routes.
Use Case UPS developed Dynamic On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation technology (ORION) that uses advanced algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning and offers precise delivery time estimates, dependability and responsiveness. UPS has saved around 100 million miles and 10 million gallons of gasoline annually since ORION's first deployment in 2012.
Conversational Artificial Intelligence is present in user-interactive virtual assistants or chatbots. The technology mimics human interactions by identifying speech and text inputs and translating their contents into other languages using massive amounts of data, machine learning and natural language processing.
Conversational AI provides regular updates and all relevant information about any delays, allowing for comprehensive visibility of the shipment. Additionally, by providing a 24/7 conversational interface, conversational AI is always available to provide users with the information they require.
Use Case BearingPoint, in collaboration with DHL, developed ‘Marie’ using Salesforce Service Cloud and Einstein AI to automatically resolve customer requests coming through chat. Customers got a seamless experience while agents were able to handle inquiries more effectively.
Given how AI technology has enhanced customer satisfaction by automating numerous time-consuming activities, the future of the logistics sector with AI is bright. In DHL's "Future of Work in Logistics" survey, 9 out of 10 logistics professionals asked stated technology has benefited their employment.
Artificial intelligence is essential for lowering expenses, saving time, boosting productivity and improving efficiency. Collaboration between companies and technology providers looks set to drive future innovation and competitive advantage in the logistics industry.