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How AI Will Change Logistics: Streamline Operations, Mitigate Risk & Change Customer Service

The freight forwarding industry is faced with a variety of challenges, some perpetual, like cooperation with various stakeholders, customs clearance, and optimizing transportation routes. However, in recent years there has been a growing interest in implementing AI technologies to improve cost-effectiveness, safety, efficiency, and improve the customer experience.

Streamlining Operations

Leveraging predictive analytics and big data, artificial intelligence can analyze market trends, historical data, and factors such as trade regulations, holidays, and weather conditions, thus helping forwarders anticipate changes in service demand.

Predictive analytics can be used to optimize routes as well, factoring in data such as delivery time windows, distance, transportation costs, and traffic conditions. This can greatly help freight forwarders determine optimal routes, improve on-time delivery rates, and reduce transportation costs. Additionally, artificial intelligence can assist in carrier selection by analyzing factors like service coverage and geographical reach, available capacity, market rates, and transit times.

Lastly, AI can assist forwarders with customs clearance and regulatory compliance. It can extract data from packing lists, invoices, and other shipping documents to automate the preparation of reports and customs declarations while verifying compliance with customs requirements.

The strongest export markets for 2023 have been the United States and Europe. Exports to China are improving, but at a gradual pace.

Risk Management

Predictive analytics can help logistics businesses manage risk in a number of ways.

First, it can track data about previous incidents such as disruptions, theft, damages, delays, and accidents. AI can then identify the root causes along with trends and patterns. This information can then be used by forwarders minimize and anticipate future risks.

Second, AI can analyze satellite imagery, maps, and other geospatial data to identify risk areas like adverse weather, risk of natural disasters, as well as analyze security breach reports and map high crime rates. This can help freight forwarders assess risks, optimize routes, and avoid disruptions and delivery delays.

Customer Service

Artificial intelligence platforms and tools can help improve communication and increase collaboration between customers, carriers, and forwarders, thus ensuring seamless coordination.

AI can analyze shipment data and customer behavior to help logistics companies make informed decisions about service offerings, pricing, and consumer segmentation, resulting in an enhanced customer experiences.
Lastly, AI can assist service providers with complaint management by analyzing reviews, complaints, and customer feedback. These insights can help freight forwarders address concerns and improve the overall customer experience. Additionally, AI can instantly categorize feedback and complaints into segments such as service quality, billing issues, damages, and delays. This helps service providers prioritize based on type, issue, and urgency.

AI tools can be used to create a knowledge database of complaints, actions taken, solutions, and outcomes. It can include details such as who was tasked with the resolution, what was the response time, and changes or process improvements that can help prevent future complaints. This knowledge database can be used by customer service representatives to ensure a more efficient and faster response to complaints.

A New Tool

Artificial intelligence, although new, is here to stay with the expectation that there will be changes rippling through all industries and daily life. For the logistics sector, AI could be just the right tool for great improvements in service efficiency and operation optimization.

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