Shipping is critical to our modern life. As goods criss-cross around the globe, demand is higher than ever. But there's also a push to make these logistics smarter and more eco friendly. AI can help with that. So, to that end, here's a quick guide to Artificial Intelligence in shipping and how AI can work for you.
Retailers are now adopting micro-fulfilment strategies for instant consumer gratification and improved product accessibility, as a competitive advantage. The supply chain industry grew during COVID-19 crisis and so did the need for faster operational processes and automation of human tasks. As part of it, the logistics sector is struggling to meet the growing consumer demands, high labour costs, regulatory measures, and siloed data, whilst complying with a dynamic environment. Complexities woven in the industry are not just occasional but tend to create a ripple effect across the infrastructure. Ultimately, the warehouse workforce strives to meet customers' requirements by managing incoming orders through multiple layers, regardless of inventory processes.
The program is Cardinal Health's first foray into drone deliveries, which the Dublin, Ohio-based distributor sees as a way around delays in restocking inventory and volatile last-minute shipping prices. It follows other efforts by companies including United Parcel Service Inc., Merck & Co. and Walmart Inc. testing the use of drones for the domestic shipment of medical products and supplies. Josh Dolan, Cardinal Health's senior vice president of pharmaceutical operations, said drone delivery would allow the company to bypass road obstacles such as natural disasters and help replenish high-turnover items. Eventually, he said, it will be useful for emergency situations in remote areas or when time is crucial, such as delivering antivenom for snake bites. While speed and reliability are the main reasons Cardinal Health is pursuing drone delivery, the flights would also allow the company to avoid fluctuations in prices for last-minute courier or helicopter deliveries, Mr. Dolan said.
Delivery robots – just a few years ago, the stuff of pure science fiction – are now very much a reality and quickly becoming a part of everyday life for many of us. In fact, I will usually come across five or six when I go for an evening jog in my hometown of Milton Keynes, England! These particular ones belong to Starship, a company that deployed its first autonomous delivery bots just three years ago and now operates a fleet of over a thousand, in several locations in the UK, USA, and very soon in mainland Europe too. I spoke to their CEO, Alastair Westgarth, who told me that his robots had traveled a total of 3.6 million kilometers to make 2 million deliveries. Powered by machine learning algorithms, they are constantly getting smarter, meaning they become more efficient as well as safer. Of these journeys, the vast majority are completed fully autonomously; however, human operators are always ready to step in when needed.
The field of artificial intelligence research was founded as an academic discipline in 1956. Despite a history of 60 years, the era is still at the very beginning, and the future has a bumpy road ahead when compared to similar disciplines, which is mainly driven by challenges in the domain of ethics and availability of data. Fluctuating Fortunes of AI Since its beginning, Artificial Intelligence has experienced three major breakthroughs and two periods of stagnation. Its most recent renaissance was triggered in 2016 with the historical moment of AlphaGo defeating the world's best players of Go, a game thought to be too complex for Artificial Intelligence. As we learned from the previous circles of AI, whenever it makes a leap forward, there is a lot of scrutiny and concern over what this means for the world; both in the industry as well as society.
Walmart has revealed it is using fully driverless trucks to bring groceries from a fulfillment center to one of its Arkansas supermarkets, in a move that will cut costs and address the ongoing labor shortage affecting retail supply chains. Twelve hours a day, apair of trucks are running on a seven-mile loop of public roads from a fulfillment center to the Walmart on Regional Airport Boulevard in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the mega-retailer is headquartered. From there customers can conveniently pick up their orders. Walmart started driverless deliveries in August using autonomous trucks from Palo Alto, California-based start-up Gatik, but waited to make the announcement until Monday, after two months of incident-free deliveries. The trucking industry has faced a record worker shortage since the pandemic started, Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations, told CNN, with 80,000 drivers still needed.
A US flag flies near containers stacked high on a cargo ship at the Port of Los Angeles on ... [ ] September 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. The issue facing the world today is not simply "THE supply chain," the issue is that nearly every single link in the supply chain is compromised. Human talent is less available and manufacturers fear this will become a permanent reality, even after the pandemic. Extreme weather events occur every month and the ongoing pandemic is also causing shortages of direct and indirect materials. In turn, shipping costs have risen sharply.
In both the logistics and transportation sectors, artificial intelligence is implemented in a wide variety of ways. For instance, it makes it possible for customers to track the courier in real-time and such services are provided by most of the courier companies like ePacket. In addition to that, AI is also used to analyze the global shipping conditions like natural disasters that may hit the shipping route and other time-sensitive elements. In addition to that, companies like FedEx, Amazon and Wing Aviation LLC. are experimenting with drone delivery pilots to reduce the dependence on manual workers and to speed up the process. AI can further be used in the logistics sector for planning and scheduling, sales and marketing, warehouse management, customer care and shipping and delivery.