The Potential Impact of AI on Cargo Theft

March 11, 2024

Technological advancements have brought both tremendous opportunities and unprecedented challenges in the modern logistics field. While many freight managers understand the transformative power of technology, it is also important recognize the potential risks it poses to our industry. On the topic of the industry’s increasing shift toward new technologies, no single advancement stands to have as great an impact as artificial intelligence (AI). While AI could streamline supply chains like never before, its full impact on security, efficiency, and liability have yet to be seen.

Understanding the potential impact of AI in the transport field requires a nuanced perspective. The technology’s potential to revolutionize operations is undeniable, but the risk for abuse such as aiding in cybercrime and theft cannot be ignored. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into our industry, it’s crucial to explore its implications comprehensively.

“I think the intent of AI is to create efficiencies that otherwise might not be there,” says Elizabeth Robinson, Senior VP of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. “But just like with any technology, in the hands of a bad actor it has the opportunity for nefarious activity.”

For logistics operations, the potential of AI to process vast amounts of data and predict outcomes could greatly enhance operational efficiency. However, cautions must be taken against the risks posed by malicious actors who could exploit AI for activities such as cargo theft. These opposing scenarios highlight the uncertainty surrounding AI’s potential misuse and the imperative for heightened security measures.

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“The negative is if you get the wrong person who has an ability to utilize AI to process those massive amounts of data…then it’s a scary thought,” says Jon Pruitt, Director of Logistics Operations at Nutrabolt.

From a legal standpoint, concerns about AI’s fallibility and susceptibility to manipulation emphasizes the irreplaceable role of human oversight. While capable of processing vast amounts of data, AI lacks the contextual understanding and critical thinking skills necessary to accurately interpret complex legal matters. This limitation makes AI prone to inaccuracies, potentially leading to erroneous outcomes in legal proceedings.

While acknowledging AI’s potential to enhance efficiency, transport attorney Thomas Kern of the law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff underscores the irreplaceable role of human judgment and discretion in ensuring the integrity and reliability of legal processes.

“It can’t replace the human element. It’s too often wrong and it’s much more easily manipulated than a human being,” Kern says.

From a freight insurance standpoint, the dual nature of AI in mitigating risks and empowering malicious actors is highlighted further. While AI holds promise in predictive analysis and risk assessment, its misuse in cyber-attacks presents challenges for insurers and stakeholders alike.

“Carriers adopting AI solutions can help maintain the security and integrity of the supply chain. On the flip side, the bad actors are using the same technology to power their malicious attacks,” warns Kathy Schricker, VP of the Northeast Region at insurer Avalon Risk Management.

The growing sophistication of AI-driven crimes such as phishing and ransomware attacks pose a significant threat for insurers. Underwriting practices and risk assessment methodologies must now be adapted to address emerging vulnerabilities in an increasingly digitized landscape.

As we embrace the transformative potential of AI, supply chain professionals should hold a commitment to innovation tempered by vigilance. By fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience, we are poised to navigate the risks and reap the rewards of AI in the freight industry. Together, we will chart a course towards a safer, more efficient future for logistics.

Triple T Transport recognizes the need for a proactive approach to navigate the evolving landscape shaped by AI. We are committed to leveraging technology responsibly while implementing robust security protocols to safeguard against emerging threats. Collaboration with stakeholders, continuous monitoring of trends, and investment in cutting-edge solutions are essential pillars of our strategy to stay ahead of potential risks while providing world-class freight services to our valued partners.

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