Artificial intelligence (AI) has ushered in an era to technological advancement for the supply chain industry as a whole. This paradigm shift is now vastly altering the freight forwarder industry. Embedded in software, AI provides freight forwarders with competitive advantages through predictive analytics, smart warehousing, chatbots and, in time, autonomous vehicles.
How Predictive Analytics is Advancing the Industry
The term artificial intelligence is a bit of a misnomer. Intelligence of the humankind is far more complex and capable of abstract reasoning and creativity AI can never emulate. At least for now, true “thinking” robots remain the stuff of science fiction.
What AI does so well boils down to pattern recognition. The technology has advanced to the point where AI can pick out even the most subtle patterns in reams of data a human would need years to analyze. For freight forwarders, this spells opportunities to boost efficiency and enhance customer service.
For example, data analytics can predict when trucks need specific types of maintenance and which mode of transport is the quickest or least costly. These capabilities save money and boost revenues because AI can simultaneously recognize patterns that indicate the right decisions based on all the many factors that impact profitability.
Data analytics also helps management gain insight into future pricing. AI software can constantly monitor freight rates and track all related variables. As a result, it provides precise price forecasting while also saving you time.
As a freight forwarder, you manage many moving parts across a huge number of orders. One of the key factors is warehousing. The need to monitor volumes, coordinate shipments and manage the space and workflow can be the difference between a smooth, profitable operation and a chaotic one where money is lost.
But AI goes beyond data collection and analysis. Software programs can also run robots that can assemble, package and sort freight 24/7. This promises faster lead times an error free operation.
Smart warehousing also offers real time digital updates. The software alerts you when any shipments fall behind schedule or something goes wrong, allowing for an immediate response, saving precious time and resources.
Timing is key in the freight forwarder business, and freight forwarder software keeps you ahead of schedule.
The Rise of the Chatbots
The rise of the chatbots provides fantastic capabilities for freight forwarders. They are exceptionally helpful in streamlining operations and handling menial work, freeing employees to handle higher priority tasks. They can be employed to handle basic communications with freight carriers and customers, enter requests into the system and complete required documentation and forms. Of course, you always need humans to handle higher level tasks, which, due to chatbots, they can now focus on.
Autonomous Vehicles Coming Closer to Reality
Autonomous trucks are already in testing, perhaps to soon solve the age-old problem of truck driver shortages. Though in its infancy, autonomous vehicle technology has a clear path to widespread implementation in the logistics industry. Freight forwarder software provides the capabilities to automate the management of robot driver fleets. The end game will be more efficient operations and tremendous cost savings.
How close are autonomous delivery vehicles to driving American roadways? Currently, engineers are perfecting the systems that allow robots to drive and make judgments better than a human operator can. As tech companies continue to develop reliable systems, they are finding ways that AI can monitor traffic conditions and recognize other vehicles, pedestrians and objects, distinguishing between them and acting accordingly.
The promise of autonomous vehicles does not stop with trucks. Soon, freight forwarders may have the choice between sending cargo by autonomous truck or flying it on a drone transport. Even better, freight forwarder software can manage the whole process, determining based on timing and cost which autonomous mode best suits each job.
Freight forwarder software puts its adopters on the cutting edge of innovation, providing competitive advantages that include faster delivery times, more accurate pricing models and the automation of rote tasks. AI plays a central role in the continued development of freight forwarder software. Because of its capacity to recognize patterns in vast swaths of data, AI helps managers make the critical business decisions that make or break an operation.
If you are thinking of taking your freight business to the next level CSA Software can help. With over 35 years of experience in delivering innovative, cutting edge solutions to our customers, our solutions are designed to grow as your business grows.
We offer complete freight management software solutions for Domestic, International, Warehouse, Accounting operations and so much more. Call us to learn more about our premier software and request a Free Demo today!