Logistics Automation Revolution
When it comes to pallet delivery companies and other types of transport companies, it is safe to say that, in terms of logistics, their job is getting harder and harder to achieve.
In the past few years, there has been a growth in transportation in recent years, especially with the surfacing of more and more online stores and distributors. So, the delivery companies have to come up with new ways of gathering data needed for successful deliveries and for better decision making.
There are certain companies that have implemented data visualization and big-data algorithms in order to mine the data and achieve what we mentioned before. However, it is believed that robotic process automation and artificial intelligence have to be used in order to enhance several aspects of the information-analysis process.
Automation Is Inevitable
Currently, there are around 1 million truck drivers that operate in the U.S., making it one of the country’s most common jobs.
Now, as every company out there will try to improve its efficiency and reduce labor costs as much as possible, it is very likely that they will rely on automated logistics very soon. Obviously, this also means that some of the existing logistics jobs will have to be replaced by machines.
With the continuous development of self-driven cars and of robots designed for warehouse work, it is expected that warehouse workers and truck drivers will be vulnerable to job displacement.
However, automation is not only meant to help do the hard work that a transportation company has to deal with. The problem of automation revolves mainly around data and how to use it to improve the shipping and delivery processes.
Automation and Data
It is known that, in the case of the regular freight logistics, data needed for successful delivery is often stuck within various partners. This builds up exceptions that classic logistics cannot handle or manage. That’s mainly because the ways through which we manage data at the moment are not capable of that.
On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence is able to make sense of data, thus giving people the opportunity to be more strategic when it comes to managing exceptions.
For example, a large supplier that makes use of automated software to manage their data will always know where certain goods are coming from and if they arrive at their destination on time.
Moreover, Artificial Intelligence would be able to procure a certain delivery process with the proper kind of freight carrier and assess any of the possible risks regarding the time it takes a shipment to reach its destination, as well as its condition.
We already have good examples of automation in logistics! IBM, for example, has connected its cognitive computing capability with the weather information from all around the globe.
Then, the AI was able to predict exactly when a hurricane would hit close by one of their manufacturing sites, located in Guadalajara, Mexico. The result? The company was able to make informed decisions and avoid unplanned costs.
Furthermore, due to their effective decisions, they were also able to avoid delaying the shipment of their products, thus keeping their customers satisfied.
In short, logistics will be entirely incorporated with automation sooner or later, in all of its aspects. It’s only natural, given the companies’ need for efficiency and of reduced labor costs.