More than half of the survey participants of an IAG Cargo Survey (Cargo Next) of logistics professionals identified increased automation and digitalization as the most important trend in the air freight industry over the next 12 months. Furthermore, 81% of freight forwarders expect technological innovations to have a positive effect on their business.
From a technology perspective, the logistics industry is behind the times. The ability to access quotes and a book a shipment is a time-consuming task that requires making inquiries to several different parties hosted on outdated computer systems.
Many processes in the transportation and logistics industry require copying, pasting, re-keying and updating a variety of different computer systems. This high-level of manual data entry is slow, prone to human error and lacks consistency in reporting of valuable company data.
The industry is in desperate need of innovation and solutions such as Robotic Processing Automation are solving many of these challenges.
One example is using a robot for customer service. The robot can be instructed to open an email, identify shipping request details, open a different computer system and schedule the job, saving hours and hours of manual data entry time.
Other examples of what a bot can process include accessing and updating bills of lading, carrier invoices, custom clearance, GPS data, etc.
Since the robots can mimic virtually any task that a human would process on a computer, the possibilities for automation in the transportation and logistics industry are endless.
“We’ve entered areas where we wouldn’t have entered if we didn’t have Robots, like closing online sales. It used to take one, one and a half days. Now it takes four hours or less.”
-Process Automation and Process Optimization Director