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How generative AI modernizes freight

How AI steers the wheel to modernize freight
How AI steers the wheel to modernize freight

In the evolving freight market, the need for proactive and predictive logistics strategies is ongoing. Uber Freight predicts today’s soft market will take a turn as 2024 approaches. By harnessing next-gen technology, shippers can build a strategy to weather turbulent times. 

The AI advantage

At the 2023 Descartes Innovation Forum, supply chain and logistics analyst Adrian Gonzalez discussed whether AI is an ally or adversary. Despite companies grappling with the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI), Gonzalez says its applications are undeniable. 

“Many companies are still in the learning phase, trying to understand the technology and what is possible. It’s a bit challenging because everything is evolving very fast. Generative AI is the cool new kid on the block, so we’re still in the very early stages of how this capability will be used,” say Gonzalez.

He says it’s like having a “conversation with a system” which replaces the need to sift through various reports. Where a logistics manager would analyze data and make a decision in 30 minutes, an AI assistant will have the answer in 5 minutes. 

ALSO READ: AI to fuel US$43bn fleet management boom

From operations to supply chain mapping

While AI will transform operations and customer service first, Gonzalez says it will, in future, also help companies generate visual maps of their supply chain, a practice that is still very costly and time-consuming. 

“If you feed a generative AI engine with data from purchase orders, advance ship notices, invoices, […] and other transactions on a business network, it could potentially generate a graphical supply chain map for you,” Gonzalez explains.

Gonzalez’s comments illustrate how the broader industry is recognizing the transformative power of AI in logistics. A prime example of this acknowledgment was seen at Deliver 2023, where over 300 top brands congregated to deliberate on the future of freight.

Uber Freight CEO Lior Ron spoke about the concept of ‘relational logistics’ to improve outcomes. His presentation was followed by head of product, Raj Subbiah, who unveiled the revamped and ‘Uberized’ TMS, and Insights AI.

ALSO READ: Uber Freight unveils next-gen product roadmap with AI-powered logistics

AI solving real-world challenges

The power of AI was also showcased during the Uber Freight Hackathon event. Participants explored how generative AI can be used to solve real-world challenges. The aim was to devise new concepts to streamline operations and reduce inefficiencies. 

During the event, concepts like Capacity Connect AI and AppointAssist were introduced. Capacity Connect analyzes load history data to identify supply-demand imbalances and suggest better coverage options. AppointAssist automates load equipment confirmations which, in turn, reduces lead times. 

By generating innovative solutions and automating routine tasks, generative AI streamlines operations. It also helps fleet managers make data-driven decisions. This contributes to a more cost-effective logistics network. 

The innovative solutions showcased at the Deliver 2023 event and the Descartes Innovation Forum underscore the pivotal role of AI in tackling real-world logistics challenges. It is also paving the way for a more efficient, cost-effective, and forward-thinking freight industry.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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