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Artificial Intelligence in Logistics: A Massive Opportunity

Artificial intelligence is in its infancy but that doesn’t negate its current and, most definitely, future importance in all areas, especially logistics.

In a growing global economy, logic would dictate that we need more advanced technologies (i.e. artificial intelligence) to even keep up with growing global demands. In other words, as systems and networks start to become even more complicated and complex with global trade, our need for AI becomes even more necessary to manage our part in this growth more effectively and efficiently. This is true in logistics more than many industries.

AI sounds scary, but are the machines really taking over?

The notion of AI sounds kind of scary, but realistically, machines won’t be taking over for a long time. We have control over what AI is programmed to do and at this point, artificial intelligence is really just a simple tools based off of complex data sets. Human error will always play a factor as long as humans are around but that doesn’t mean that we cannot reduce this factor exponentially with the use of AI. In logistics, humans play a critical role, and as we have seen in recent years, that will be the case for a long time. This is especially true with the latest supply chain issues and the delays. Humans helped our industry navigate through these issues. In fact, we use AI almost everyday without even realizing it. All you have to do is open your phone and use Google – that search itself is using artificial intelligence. To go even further, your phone itself has all kinds of AI software to better your experience. We already benefit from Al in our daily lives. Why not use AI to better our shipping experiences

There can be many benefits to using Al in logistics.

First, not all benefits from AI in logistics have to be focused on the big picture. AI can also be used to enhance very specific needs. That may include weather predictions and route managing information in order to find the best and most efficient ways for truckers to make their destinations in the best way possible. If there are any lags of information between what’s happening on the ground and what’s happening behind the scenes, AI may be able to bridge that gap in order to make real-time decisions if a problem occurs with routing, tracking, etc. In another case, algorithms produced by AI may determine or predict when a customer may need an order and may simply complete the documentation for you to save time. AI does not actually have to be something complicated in it of itself. Most implementations of AI are mostly simple tasks such completing a form when the algorithm predicts or the ability to simply track shipments in real-time with more accurate predictive delivery times.

If you are worried about AI replacing humans, in logistics or otherwise, there is no need to worry.

Every advancement has growing pains, but ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution, new technologies have almost always caused similar anxieties, and we always find new and creative ways to adapt to the market. I believe that AI will only make current global demands in logistics and business even easier to keep up with. And, with more opportunities for growth in logistics, there will be higher volumes which leads to more jobs in the industry regardless. Making the switch to AI can be challenging but, in the long run, the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. Using AI to better logistics is the way the world is going. What we do to adapt to it will make all the difference.

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