Fact vs Fiction: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Logistics

April 30, 2024

Artificial intelligence’s potential to revolutionize the way business is done in various industries has become a hot topic for debate. But what exactly does this technology have in store for the freight industry? Is it all hype, or is there real value to be found? Let’s demystify AI for logistics and separate the hype from reality.

AI, or artificial intelligence, isn’t just a buzzword; it holds the potential to revolutionize efficiency within logistics operations. In this application, the primary aim of this technology is to enhance the capabilities of individuals across various roles, from newcomers to seasoned professionals. The goal is simple: to empower everyone to perform at their best.

“At a macro view, you see a lot of economists starting to write about the subject and what it can bring to the greater US and world economy,” says Andy Tomka, VP of Product at MVMNT TMS. “The opportunity of AI is that it should allow workers to become more efficient at their job.”

From “Big Data” to “optimization,” logistics professionals are accustomed to hearing plenty of tech-related buzzwords being bandied about. But amidst the buzz, there’s real substance to AI for those willing to explore its potential. Engaging with AI tools firsthand highlights their potential to streamline processes and generate valuable insights.

Can AI live up to the hype and provide real value to the transport sector? Check out the latest episode of the Stay In your Lane Podcast for expert insights on this exciting topic.

So, what are the tangible benefits of AI in logistics? For starters, there’s content generation. Large language models (LLMs) can churn out knowledge-based articles, proposals, and reviews in a fraction of the time it would take a human. This not only saves time but also ensures that information remains up-to-date and relevant.

“Let’s say you’re talking to a shipper and you’re going to write a proposal,” suggests Glenn Koepke, VP of Enterprise Accounts at Vector. “An LLM can generate something that’s pretty close, like 70-80% good. If I don’t have to start from scratch and can get a head start that’s three-quarters of the way there, that’s pretty cool.”

But AI isn’t just about generating content; it’s also about enhancing decision-making. By leveraging AI-powered tools, companies can navigate global disruptions more effectively. Whether it’s identifying opportunities or mitigating risks, AI can help organizations stay ahead of the curve.

However, it’s essential to recognize that AI isn’t a silver bullet. Human oversight over this technology is crucial, especially in areas like contract writing and review. While AI can accelerate processes, it’s ultimately humans who add the final touches and ensure accuracy.

“People in the industry should have a critical eye for these solutions,” says Tomka. “Is it a problem in search of a solution, or is it a true solution? Does it help you quote your customers faster, or help you match capacity faster and anticipate where capacity will be? How is this tool a catalyst within your organization to accelerate things?”

Embracing AI requires more than just technological adoption; it requires cultural shift and buy-in from all stakeholders. The key is to focus on the end user and seek proof of concept. By testing AI solutions in real-world scenarios, companies can determine where they add value and where they fall short.

In essence, AI isn’t about replacing humans; it’s about augmenting their capabilities. It’s about harnessing technology to empower individuals and drive innovation in the logistics industry. As we navigate the AI landscape, stakeholders should approach it with a critical yet open mind, embracing its potential to reshape the future of freight transportation. Stay tuned for further coverage on this important topic from Triple T Transport and the Stay In Your Lane Podcast.

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