Little did Allan Pennyworth, a 44-year-old semi-trailer truck driver knew that what appeared to have been a great start to a day, will end in a huge disappointment. Allan works for The Good Miles, a logistics company, that operates out of an old-fashioned two-storied office facing the Connecticut River.
That day Allan was on a mission to deliver a full-truck-load of shoes in a retail store in New Orleans. Allan’s customer was not a local manufacturer. It was the USA’s one of the biggest shoe manufacturer. The goods that Allan was carrying were not meant for the faint-hearted. This somehow made Allan feel proud and more so because most of his peers frequently grumbled why truckloads of cows and sheep never make up for good shipments.
Allan is an experienced driver. But this time, he was not quite well versed with the route. “How different can highways be?” He pacified himself. He had to cover some 1400 miles to get the job done. Things were all hunky-dory on the first day. The second day he took a wrong diversion after the sun-set and went off-route by a few miles. An honest mistake, but fate didn’t forgive him.
Some fifteen minutes after the diversion, Allan thought of taking a quick break. Unaware of the notorious history of that particular locale, Allan saw no harm in executing his thoughts. Soon, stray torch lights emerged from a distance. Voices murmuring “stall the truck” made Allan wake up to the grim reality of being looted by highway pirates. The pride of transporting shipments of a reputed customer soon ceased to exist. Resorting to prayers and contemplating the amount of loss that happened in his presence, all Allan could think of was ways to alter the situation.
He wished he had known the route better and had some knowledge about the notorious reputation of the area.
According to a report, cargo theft is a $15 to $30 billion-dollar problem each year in the United States. Not only theft, poor visibility, lack of collaboration between transportation stakeholders, inability to plan efficient routes, poor customer transparency among others, have been traditionally causing problems in the transportation industry.
A smart way to overcome these long existing challenges and ensure that Allan has better days, supply chain and logistics business should embrace new ways of executing logistics by leveraging advanced transportation platforms.
Advanced logistics platform powered by disruptive technologies likes Machine Learning (ML), Analytics and IoT can help businesses like The Good Miles, to drastically optimize logistics operations. Here’s a quick look into how advanced logistics software can help.
Risk and Theft Mitigation
Long unprecedented stoppages on a particular route imply a possible situation of theft. ML capabilities can analyze past incidents of thefts on a route and deliver valuable insights on why a particular route should be avoided completely or at a given point of time.
Unlike traditional transport management systems, ML powered modern logistics platforms can trigger alerts informing about possible theft. Capabilities like this can help businesses save millions of dollars.
Take this use case as an example. A global courier, parcel and express mail service provider have incorporated ML capabilities in its supply chain and logistics processes to mitigate risks.
This global organization combines machine learning and natural language processing to ensure early identification of potential exceptions and disruptions to the company's supply chain and logistics. The ML powered supply chain and logistics platform monitor more than 130 risk categories including crime, environmental factors, financial losses among others and inform customers about it even before such unfortunate events occur. This drastically increased the organization's customer experience and engagement scores.
Measuring KPIs Accurately
Transportation platforms powered by ML can execute a thorough analysis of historical data pertaining to route efficiency, fuel efficiency, productivity scores of a trucker, truck idling time and insights into customer feedback to help businesses accurately benchmark KPIs and consequently SLAs.
Modern transportation platforms can crawl through historical data of already travelled delivery routes and generate critical insights to boost fleet productivity and reduce costs.
Say, one of your delivery trucks needs to travel through point A, B and C to reach a customer’s destination. Referring to historical data, ML can benchmark the time taken to reach point B from A and point C from B. In case the duration to reach any of these points exceeds the already set threshold, it will immediately trigger alerts and help transportation stakeholders take quick action. This eliminates the chances of further delays.
Now, after the implementation of a modern transportation platform when Allan drives through lesser-known routes he is more confident.
Artificial Intelligence has been finding numerous use cases in the Supply Chain industry. Surveys from Gartner indicate that 64% of the market leaders have already implemented AI solutions in one form or another, with 31% of them using it to automate decisions.
Third-party logistics (3PLs) has evolved significantly in the past few decades and they are no longer limited to transportation and warehousing. It now encompasses outsourcing everything, right from supply chain management to offering managerial and technological support to budding companies.
Innovative IoT solutions are also powering automatic monitoring of cargo, smart driver management, theft prevention, and dynamic route planning. Hence, leveraging IoT businesses can optimize logistics processes to ensure faster and cost-effective deliveries.