Using AI in shipping

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is one of the technologies with the fastest rate of development, because in many tasks it proves to be faster, more efficient and more reliable than humans. It can help you effectively increase your competitive advantage by adapting to the requirements of the modern market. It also offers enormous support in logistics. We discuss the use of AI in shipping!

How is AI used in shipping?

Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in shipping and logistics mostly involve data analysis and process automation. Advanced algorithms, applications and software, as well as bots, are deployed in four main areas these days:

  1. customer service – this includes chatbots that help with handling orders, tracking shipments, and providing information on services;
  2. product and service development – this includes algorithms to optimise resource utilisation and detect irregularities or growth opportunities;
  3. marketing and sales – this includes IT tools for re-marketing and for automating formalities;
  4. optimising the supply chain:
    • electronic document flow (greater control over the flow of information),
    • route planning applications (e.g. selecting the optimum route, planning stops, avoiding the most crowded or dangerous sections of the route),
    • planning (algorithms that prepare forecasts, simulations etc.),
    • forecasting supply and demand (machine learning algorithms that analyse market data on an ongoing basis),
    • automation in warehouses (this includes “co-bots” – autonomous robots that compile shipments, self-driving AVG trolleys),
    • inspecting deliveries for defects and damage (scanners, visual AI),
    • steering price dynamics (algorithms, including price fluctuation simulators),
    • smart road systems (e.g. Lanternn by Valerann – a scalable platform that offers tools for effective road traffic management based on data-driven decision making).

What freight operators want is first and foremost fast, efficient and profitable deliveries. Therefore, software that makes it easier to make key decisions – such as the Innoship app – are very popular. Innoship is based on an engine that uses AI algorithms to arrive at the optimal means of delivery depending on the type of goods. Within fractions of a second, it calculates all the parameters, and chooses the best carrier. This way it helps lower monthly shipment costs by 20% and improve the quality of deliveries by 15%.

What is the future of AI in shipping and logistics?

Within less than two decades, logistics in its traditional shape will come under threat due to space limitations and labour shortages – we are seeing driver shortages already now.

Experts believe that in the future, the industry will focus on developing solutions such as intelligent parcel pickup machines and click&collect points. They are preferred by recipients, and they allow for significant reductions in last mile delivery costs. Nevertheless, AI will continue to be used for planning optimum routes so that they are both the most profitable and eco-friendly (with the smallest possible carbon footprint).

Autonomous vehicles are also being developed intensively. At present, they are used in warehouses, but there are plans for creating delivery vans that would go on the roads in the future.

Modern AI technology supports shipping and logistics in many ways, thus contributing to more informed management, better use of resources, maximising worker efficiency, and limiting harmful impacts on the environment. All this brings a range of benefits to boost profits.