The evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be traced back to the 1950s when the concept of computers being able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence was first introduced. Over the years, AI has developed significantly, moving from simple rule-based systems to more sophisticated machine learning algorithms.
In the 1990s, machine learning, a subset of AI, began to gain traction, leading to the development of expert systems, which were able to perform specific tasks and make decisions in a similar way to human experts. With the advent of big data and the exponential growth in computational power, the field of AI has seen tremendous progress in recent years.
Today, AI is used in a wide range of industries, from healthcare to logistics and freight forwarding services, and has become an integral part of many aspects of modern life, including virtual assistants, self-driving cars, and speech recognition systems. The shipping and logistics industry has seen a major transformation with the boom in new-age technologies such as AI, machine learning, IoT (Internet of Things), blockchain, etc.
By 2035, it is expected that artificial intelligence will have increased productivity by more than 40%. And since the technologies are already revolutionising the sector in various ways, using AI in logistics is inevitable.
Major Obstacles in The Way of the Logistics Industry
Logistics and supply chain management face several challenges that can have a significant impact on their efficiency and effectiveness. Some of the major challenges include:
The increasing complexity of supply chains, caused by globalization, the rise of e-commerce, and the growing number of intermediaries makes it difficult to manage the flow of goods, information, and payments.
B. Visibility and traceability
Ensuring complete visibility and traceability throughout the supply chain is a major challenge, as it requires real-time access to accurate and up-to-date information about inventory levels, shipments, and deliveries.
C. Capacity constraints
The limited capacity of transportation, warehousing, and other logistics resources can cause bottlenecks and delays, impacting delivery times and customer satisfaction.
D. Cost management
Balancing the need for cost efficiency with the need for quality, speed, and flexibility is a significant challenge for supply chain managers.
E. Risk management
Supply chains are vulnerable to disruptions, such as natural disasters, political unrest, and cyber attacks, which can cause significant damage if not properly managed.
The logistics and supply chain industry have a significant impact on the environment and society, and companies are increasingly under pressure to adopt sustainable practices, such as reducing emissions, waste, and water usage.
Addressing these challenges requires innovative solutions and the implementation of best practices, such as collaboration, standardization, and technology-enabled processes.
How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the logistics and freight forwarding services industry by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving decision-making processes. AI technologies, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, are being used to analyze vast amounts of data and make real-time predictions about demand, supply, and transportation. This information is then used to optimize the routing of shipments, reduce lead times, and minimize waste and inefficiencies.
AI-powered systems can also automate routine tasks, such as data entry and analysis, freeing up time for employees to focus on other business activities.
In addition to that, AI is being used to enhance visibility and traceability throughout the supply chain, improving quality control, risk management, and safety.
What are The Benefits of Leveraging AI in Logistics?
Greater Data Insights
Data has become the plinth of every existing industry including logistics and supply chains and AI, machine learning and Natural Language Processing(NLP) has made it possible for businesses to obtain and utilize a plethora of information that is vital to the industry.
NLP can recognize words, phrases, and even vocabulary which is frequently used, while ML can combine these crucial ideas, producing context and learning as these words change.
Predictive analytics in logistics involves the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of risks associated with future outcomes based on historical data. Predictive analytics is helping with better supply chain visibility, forecasting, transportation management system, last-mile logistics and so on.
Leveraging AI for optimizing manual operations in warehouses can lead to increased promptness and efficiency in the entire supply chain management. Automated material handlings systems, such as conveyors, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), and robotic picking and packing systems, can speed up and improve accuracy in the handling of goods.
Best logistics companies in India such as NimbusPost leverages AI and machine learning to provide smart warehouse fulfilment services across major Indian cities and in international markets, encompassing 196+ countries.
To conclude, the integration of AI into logistics and supply chain management is leading to a more streamlined, efficient, and effective supply chain, enabling companies to remain competitive in an ever-changing global market.