Logistics firms are increasingly counting on artificial intelligence to help them meet customer demands for ever-faster throughput, from the beginning of the supply chain to delivery at a customer’s front door.
Logistics itself includes growing amounts of data from throughout the supply chain, with RFID tags and sensors tracking packages, locators on delivery vehicles, and schedules and rates for different modes of transportation outside the warehouse. In addition, they must consider package and pallet details, cobot information, and a host of other data within the warehouse.
In 2016, DHL identified AI and machine learning (a subset of AI) as key technologies driving logistics innovation in the company’s “Logistics Trends Radar” report.
In an updated joint report for 2018 with IBM, Matthias Heutger, DHL senior vice president and global head of innovation, said that logistics networks will “shift to a proactive and predictive paradigm” as big data from public, private and operational sources becomes exposed to and processed by AI.
“As the technological progress in the field of AI is proceeding at great pace, we see it as our duty to explore, together with our customers and employees, how AI will shape the logistics industry’s future,” he added.
In this RBR Insider report, author Phil Britt highlights several companies and areas where AI is being used to improve operational efficiencies, optimize routes for delivery, and utilize robotics for last-mile delivery of products.
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