The emerging union of artificial intelligence and logistics affects a large array of related technologies, including supply chains, IoT, and self learning systems. Artificial intelligence and logistics is the perfect union for businesses seeking a competitive edge – and a necessary combination for companies hoping to compete in the future.

SwissCognitiveLet’s go inside the technology of AI and logistics. First, supply chain management, or SCM, is the process of overseeing the shipping process. Logistics is the portion of SCM concerned with the movement of goods. For many years, technical advances in logistics has lagged behind other industries.

A major reason for this lag is the sheer number of people and companies that even a single supply chain serves: developers, manufacturers, brokers, retailers, transportation companies, and customers. Giant retailers like Walmart or Amazon could impose technical requirements on some of their partners but not all. And at many stages in the supply chain, enabling technology did not exist.

Today that is changing as artificial intelligence-driven logistics spearhead a fundamental transformation in the global movement of goods.

Top Three AI and Logistics Trends

In DHL’s Logistics Trend Radar , DHL predicts three major trends driving logistics innovation: self-driving and unmanned vehicle technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and logistics driven by AI and machine learning.

● Transportation. Autonomous logistics is the science behind self-driving vehicles on the roads and unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky. This trend leads to people picturing sky driving scenes from The Jetsons , but unmanned flights deliver critical goods today to remote islands and mountain regions. And Google and a few other companies are pouring resources into developing self-driving vehicles for delivering goods.

Internet of Things (IoT). Analysts forecast that over 50 billion objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Since IoT can connect between the Internet and data-driven logistics, it may be a fertile area for artificial intelligence and logistics. However, most current IoT applications are for the consumer market. The business sector requires industry standards and strong security measures that are not necessarily present the consumer market. This may change and IoT is presently in use in some specific environments, such as adding sensors to physical stock in warehouses to track inventory.

Artificial intelligence and logistics. In contrast to IoT, businesses are making great strides with artificial intelligence, machine human interaction, and logistics collaboration. Robotics and automation are a primary sector for AI and logistics. Although manufacturers have an interested in industrial robots for some time, complex logistics operations and high robotics costs formed barriers to adoption. Today costs are going down and robots are more flexible and easier to program, making them cost-effective in repetitive and physically demanding logistic tasks. Another example of artificial intelligence and logistics is the retail shipping channel, also called the omni-channel. Omni-channels comprise multiple companies and consumers in a supply chain. Consumers understandably want the fastest possible delivery at the lowest possible price. Retailers want to offer very fast delivery as a competitive option, but must retain an acceptable profit margin. Artificial intelligence enables logistics professionals to cost-effectively accelerate delivery. […]

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