Throughout history, technological innovation has led to leaps and bounds in the way we do business, and trucking is no different.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, has recently gained traction as a critical part of future technology. While it has grown in popularity, it still has a controversial reputation in industries that emphasize legacy technologies. Among trucking companies, AI has become essential for improving operations and cutting excess costs.
Here are some quick examples of applications for AI in the trucking industry:
Many of these applications use a combination of AI technologies — specifically, machine learning. Understanding how these technologies differ can help you grasp the role they play in trucking operations.
AI is a general term that refers to computers’ ability to perform tasks that ordinarily require or mimic human intelligence. One of the intriguing parts of AI is its ability to learn, which vastly differs from other automated technologies. For example, people are increasingly using ChatGPT, the popular language model AI, to have realistic conversations and even to write convincing essays. ChatGPT is a type of AI because it learns how to provide a better experience and content completely independently.
Machine learning, or ML, is a subtype of AI. It’s best to understand it as the underlying algorithms and technologies that enable AI systems to perform such advanced tasks. ML uses these algorithms on human inputs to gain insights from and recognize patterns in vast quantities of data. Then, it applies its learning to further improve its decision-making capabilities.
There’s also a subset of ML known as deep learning (DL). It’s the algorithm that powers ML through the use of neural networks — multilayered connections that mimic the neurons in the human brain. DL helps improve many AI-powered functions like intelligent automation, digital assistants, and voice recognition technologies.
This cutting-edge technology is at the heart of all our software solutions, including Workflow AI for brokers and factors, but what is it?
Intelligent automation combines AI and ML with other business technologies, such as business process management and robotic process automation, to create streamlined, end-to-end digital processes. Because artificial intelligence and machine learning are at its core, software powered by intelligent automation can learn and adapt to new situations on its own — which can help your business become more agile and resilient over time.
Intelligent automation can also help your organization scale its operations by reducing the number of people you need to run essential processes.
As with many other industries, AI can help trucking companies enhance operational productivity, improve uptime, protect against financial security issues, and more. AI can significantly improve a trucking company’s operations and cost-effectiveness. Below are a few examples of how AI saves companies valuable time and money in the trucking industry.
Inefficiencies in the office play a more significant role than you might think in your operational expenses. When processes have more steps than necessary, your office staff can’t work as efficiently as they could — which can cost you later.
Technologies like Transflo’s Workflow AI for brokers can reduce up to 97% of manual back-office work by streamlining document processing and freeing your staff to refocus their time on more urgent or meaningful tasks. Workflow AI integrates with various systems, so you can easily incorporate it into your existing technology environment without incurring additional costs.
Workflow AI boosts employee efficiency for the specific task they’re working on. Morale tends to increase when workers are more effective, which can reduce absenteeism and boost retention.
Transportation and logistics are high-stress, high-risk industries where every decision can significantly impact your bottom line. Having a digital helping hand can make each new situation less stressful.
Using predictive analytics, AI solutions can improve their decision-making capabilities in a new process called decision intelligence, also known as DI. Many businesses have begun implementing DI solutions to augment their human employees’ ability to make business decisions.
Our specialists provided an insightful perspective on this form of automation by using an illustrative example of micro-decision making. Picture yourself in a kitchen, perfecting a cookie recipe. Once you’ve struck the right balance of ingredients and methods, you traditionally share this recipe with fellow bakers to replicate, so you can meet the growing customer needs. However, AI introduces a new level of efficiency here. The moment you master the recipe and all the nuances related to baking it just right, thousands of your ‘bakers’ also gain that knowledge. Brian Sowul described this transformative process stating, “That’s the beauty of AI, the moment it has learned a process, task, or piece of information, its cohorts (replicas of itself) instantly have access to that knowledge. You get to offload the repetition to a system that has learned the most effective process.” This highlights the competency that AI can provide in automating repetitive tasks, encapsulating the essence of intelligent automation.
This however, is not limited to micro-decisions. These capabilities extend to leverage a combination of AI and ML algorithms to analyze and synthesize enormous datasets and:
Decision intelligence comes in various forms, but the most common so far is decision augmentation, which supplements the user’s ability to make accurate business decisions. However, more advanced versions of this technology go further, even enabling the AI to make decisions independently based on its data library.
At Transflo, we’re proud to present Workflow AI, our AI-powered software package for the trucking industry. We offer two purpose-built Workflow AI solutions — one for brokers and one for factors.
Since February 2020, the U.S. labor market has lost approximately 2 million workers — and that labor shortage has impacted companies in almost every industry, including freight brokers. Automating crucial back-office processes with our Workflow AI solution for brokers can future-proof your business by helping your existing office staff save hundreds of hours in paperwork processing per week — no additional hiring required.
Workflow AI can even help you expand your business despite the labor crisis. Other tasks Workflow AI can handle include user onboarding, customer verification and service, account management, record-keeping, and more.
Factoring companies spend hours verifying and processing invoice payments, while their employees could spend their time on more meaningful tasks. As a result, workers frequently find themselves bogged down in time-consuming processes that adversely affect their office’s overall efficiency.
Workflow AI for factors enables factoring companies to hyper-automate their back-office operations, saving valuable time and energy on tedious, low-skill tasks like document processing. By automating the flow of information from load creation to payment in a neutral ecosystem, our solution empowers business users to boost productivity and push their company into a more competitive position within the industry.
As technology evolves, embracing advanced tools like AI is becoming increasingly necessary for trucking companies to stay competitive. At Transflo, we pride ourselves on providing industry-forward mobile and cloud-based technologies that simplify trucking operations for companies nationwide.
See how our AI-powered logistics and supply chain management software can help you transform your operations. Contact us today to learn more.