AI. Today a Novelty, Tomorrow a Necessity
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way logistics providers operate as a result of the ongoing trend towards automation and continued improvements in computing. AI will augment human expertise through systems that help generate novel insights from big data and eliminate difficult tasks. In logistics AI will enable back-office automation, predictive operations, intelligent logistics assets, and new customer experience models.
Key Developments & Implications
Performance, accessibility, and costs of AI continue to improve thanks to major advances in big data, algorithmic development, connectivity, cloud computing, and processing power. AI will enable a more proactive and predictive approach to help amplify the human components of global supply chains. Networks can be orchestrated to an unparalleled degree of efficiency, redefining industry behaviors and practices. Looking ahead, IoT will be a key trend that feeds critical data into AI-based systems. Business, society, and government bodies must develop standards and regulations to ensure positive use of AI.
Back-office AI presents a significant opportunity to streamline the internal functions of logistics corporations such as accounting, finance, human resources, and IT. Here, cognitive automation can be applied to critical logistics tasks such as ensuring the most updated customer addresses to bolster successful deliveries.
Predictive logistics can be enhanced by AI to shift the logistics industry from operating reactively with planning forecasts to proactive operations with predictive intelligence. An example is predictive demand planning using data from online shops and forums to predict unexpected volume spikes for trending products. Logistics providers and suppliers can then avoid costly overstocks or out-of-stock situations that result in lost sales for both the supplier and the consumer.
Seeing, speaking & thinking logistics assets empowered by AI can greatly relieve the physical demands of modern logistics work. Applications include the use of AI-powered robotics solutions and AI-based computer vision systems which can augment much of today’s logistics operations such as material sorting, handling, and inspections.
AI-powered customer experiences can further personalize customer touch points, drive shipment volumes, and increase customer loyalty and retention. For example, the use of conversational AI interfaces (e.g., Amazon Alexa) can enable logistics providers to streamline interactions and be more attuned to their customers’ needs and developments.
Questions answered in this report:
- What is AI, and what does it mean for your organization?
- What best practice examples from other industries can be applied to logistics?
- How can AI be used in logistics to reinvent back office, operational, and customer-facing activities
Talk to an Expert
Senior Innovation Manager, Trend Research
DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation
Ben Gesing is a global innovation leader with 7+ years of experience developing technical solutions in the logistics, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industry. Today he leads the Trend Research activities at the DHL Innovation Center near Bonn, Germany. He and his team are responsible for shaping the overall innovation agenda at Deutsche Post DHL Group through producing industry trend reports and piloting cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics in live logistics operations together with startups.
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Looking to the future
As logistics leaders continue their digital transformation, AI will become a bigger and inherent part of day-to-day business, accelerating the path towards a proactive, predictive, automated, and personalized future. However, AI it is not without its challenges and business, society, and government bodies will need to develop standards and regulations to ensure the continued progress of AI for the benefit of humanity.
- Back Office AI
- Predictive Logistics: The Next Operational Paradigm
- Seeing, Speaking & Thinking Logistics Assets
- AI-Powered Customer Experience