Last year’s COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the limitations of supply chains, many of which were broadly unprepared to adapt and maintain basic organization in a changing environment. Consumers were frequently left waiting days, weeks or even months for simple orders, and now the worldwide distribution of vaccines poses an intimidating challenge.
A global pandemic wasn’t needed to see the problems the industry faces; even before COVID-19, very few organizations possessed the capabilities to gather tracking information that could accurately estimate delivery dates and times. If an order didn’t show up when it was supposed to, consumers were often left with the choice of calling an unhelpful support line or just sitting around waiting for it to eventually arrive.
AI and Big Data, a Possible Solution
While many of us may have accepted the fate of logistical uncertainty and opaqueness, it doesn’t have to be that way. The path to a better future requires organizations to improve their information collection and analysis by using technology that is already widely available. Fortunately, any upfront capital spent can likely be recovered quickly, as implementing effective technology can increase efficiency and productivity, thus increasing profits and paying for itself.
Particularly, artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data can help companies track the location, contents, condition, and destination of their assets. Pairing this information with analytics can then help companies optimize their packing arrangements and plan more efficient routes while easily communicating any relevant information to their customers at any point along the supply chain.
In addition to these benefits, basic AI and proper analytics can move companies towards further supply chain advancements such as:
● Robotic warehouse inventory management
● Automated supervision of repetitive processes
● Instant reaction to the emergence of weather events
● Temperature monitoring for perishables and pharmaceuticals
● Automated check-in at airports and other checkpoints
● Pre-emptive shipping based on consumer demand predictions
● Real-time freight tracking by individual package
● Preparation for and prevention of inventory shortages
Tech Transformation Already on the Rise
Although they often don’t make the best use of it, many organizations already have access to huge quantities of data. To improve their supply chains, these organizations can simply evaluate the data already available and utilize it. AI can help them take advantage of this data without needing to hire armies of new workers or overwhelming the existing employees.
Gartner’s analysis of current trends show that many corners of the logistics industry are beginning to implement AI and other technologies, and growth in this area will likely double in the next five years. Its possible that with the rise of AI, digitization may remove some of the need for human labor in supply chain. As technology takes over these positions, workers can then expand into more advanced areas, where they can better use their creativity and problem-solving skills.
ClearFreight understands the importance of technology and uses cutting edge technology to help our customers monitor their cargo. We also understand technology isn’t for everyone, so our team of experts are always available to speak with you whenever you feel the need to call. Contact us today and see how we are Customer Forward.