How Machine Learning and AI is Influencing Logistics, Supply Chain & Transportation Management

How Machine Learning and AI is Influencing Logistics, Supply Chain & Transportation Management

More than 65% of top transportation professionals agree that logistics and supply chain management is in the midst of a revolution – a period of incremental transformation. And, the most potent drivers of change are none other than machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Top notch companies are already found leveraging the tools of artificial intelligence and machine learning for fine-tuning its superior strategies, including warehouse location scouting and enhancing real-time decision-making. Though these advanced technologies nurture large chunks of data, the logistic industry has for long been hoarding piles of data. Today, the difference lies in the gargantuan volume of data, as well as the existence of powerful algorithms to inspect, evaluate and trigger the process of understanding and its respective action.

Below, we will understand how AI streamlines logistics and transportation functionalities, influencing profitability and client satisfaction. Day by day, more companies are fusing Artificial Intelligence with Internet of Things to administer logistics, inventory and suppliers, backed by a certain amount of precision and acumen. Let’s delve deeper!

Predictive Maintenance

AI-powered Sensors monitor operational conditions of machines; thus can detect discrepancies even before the scheduled machine servicing based on manufacturer’s recommendation. Then they alert the technicians prior to any potential equipment failure or service disorientation. Thanks to real-time wear and tear!

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Shipping Efficiency

Powerful algorithms are constantly used to tackle last minute developments, including picking the best alternate port in case the main port is non-operational or something like that, planning beforehand if the main carrier cancels a booking and even gauging times-of arrival.

Machine Learning capabilities are also put to use for estimating the influence of extreme weather conditions on shipping schedules. Location specific weather forecasts are integral to calculate potential delays in shipments.

Warehouse Management

Machine learning has the ability to determine inventory and dictate patterns. It ascertains the items which are selling and are to be restocked on a priority basis, and items which need sound remarketing strategy.

Voice recognition is a key tool that uses AI to ensure efficiency and accuracy through successful Warehouse Management System – a robotic voice coming out of a headset says which item to pick and from where, enabling a fast process of warehousing and dispatching of goods.

Once, the worker founds the item, he/she reads out the number labeled on them, which the system then tallies with its own processed data list through speech recognition and then confirms the picked item for the next step.  The more the system is put to use, the more trained it gets. Over time, the system learns the workers’ tone and speech patterns, resulting into better efficiency and faster work process.


 A majority of shipping companies are competing with each other to have the most robust and efficient delivery service, because delivery is the final leg of a logistic journey. And it’s vitally important – predictive analytics is used to constantly maneuver driver routes, and plan and re-plan delivery schedules.

DHL invests on semi-autonomous vehicles that drive independently without human intervention carrying deliverables to people across urban communities. Another company, Starship Technologies, founded by the co-founders of Skype employs six-wheeled robots across London packed with hi-tech cameras and GPS. The robots are stuffed with cutting edge technology, but are controlled by humans so that they can take charge as and when required minimizing any negative outcomes.

Overall, artificial intelligence and machine learning has started augmenting human role for efficient logistics and transportation management. With all the recent developments in the technology sphere, it’s only a matter of time until AI becomes a necessary management part of supply chain.

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September 11, 2018 3:08 pm Published by , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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