Logistics 4.0: How AI is changing the industry

Fero offers automation solutions for providers working across the supply chain



The emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain is starting to transform the chaotic and fragmented logistics market. The logistics and supply chain industry has a global value of over $7 trillion, and is expected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023, numbers that dwarf the GDP of many regions combined.

Despite the immense size of the global market, it is undoubtedly fragmented and there’s massive room for optimisation. Digitisation, without a doubt, is the saviour of choice in the next decade, to catalyse productivity improvement and eradicate human inefficiencies.

It’s far from a secret that the most critical problems facing the logistics industry today revolve around the general lack of efficiency, coordination hazards and quality control. Moreover, the causes of these issues boils down to the poor utilization (or even lack of) technology and the heavy reliance on human dependency.

The current technologies active in the sector exist in functional silos, having created information and execution troughs. Stand-alone technology solutions have restricted functionality and productivity by being completely human dependent, giving rise to redundant process coordination, increasing the transaction lifecycle itself, ultimately reducing efficiency and increasing costs.

This has, in fact, been counterproductive to digitisation’s initial value proposition, with stakeholders not realising the true returns on tech investment. There’s increased skepticism in assessing new tech solutions, the intuitive thought being ‘Will this one actually deliver what it claims to?’ The point to note here is that the issue is not with the technology solution per say, rather the investment in broken solutions as a result of falling prey to the buzzword-herd culture.

Optimisation of one link is no optimisation at all

“Exponential problems need exponential solutions”, says Arjun Bhasin, CTO and co-founder of Fero.

As the supply chains become complex supply nets, the variables and number of stakeholders change dynamically. The entire arrangement of transfer of data between systems is managed by technologies. By the time such technologies are implemented, the set of variables change making the entire implementations redundant.

In such circumstances, optimisation of any one touchpoint, process, function or stakeholder across the supply chain will not be sustainable. To put simply, there’s no use of making one link strong, it’s either the entire chain or none.

“Freight Optomated – the amalgamation of optimisation and automation in the market is the need of the hour,” states Naseer Ahmed, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Fero.

“The dependency of partners in logistics and freight is so dynamic, diverse and delicate that we envisioned our solution to substantially remove the dependency of human coordination in freight environment on quoting, rate inquires, load inquiries, shipment statuses, invoicing and so forth. From the start till the end of shipment in zero phone calls was our target and I’m excited and confident that we have arrived,” he adds.

Fero has built the world’s first voice-enabled virtual agent for freight, an intelligent natural language processing agent, TiA (Transport Interactive Agent).

“TiA is the logistics coordinator of Industry 4.0”, claims Abhinav Chaudhary, CEO and co-founder of Fero. TiA is wired to laterally connect and integrate with any logistics system for narrowing down the information bridges.

At present, the setup with freight forwarders, shipping lines, airlines, transporters and shippers has mushroomed with an in-out approach with no optimised manner of possessing an entire, coordinated global setup. Yet each business agrees that the supply network dependency is continuously burgeoning across continents, ports, freight hubs, multiple carriers and so forth.

TiA by Fero, in such an environment, acts as a virtual intelligent coordinator that eradicates all the complexities, information visibility challenges, truncates wide ERPs by means of simple voice conversations to have a global standardised means of freight transactions in a B2B environment.

Launched in Dubai in April 2019, TiA not only addresses the old age and current industry problems, but rather gears up the industry to sail through further fragmentations, diversions and dynamics, thereby providing a technology which also handles yet-to-come complexities.

Though voice automation has caught the most amount of attention, machine dependent automation solutions also has other applications such as machine vision. Container Eye, Fero’s flagship product, provides complete eradication of human errors on container inspection, realising massive cost reduction on manpower, improvement in service quality and turnaround time and significant increase in accuracy.

Meanwhile Fero’s Port Road Transport solution is a product that will immensely assist ports to control port-exterior bottlenecks in one go.

With recent developments, 6 per cent of the companies in GCC have a clearly defined Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy for the year 2020 onwards. These early adopters are the niche players that are rapidly onboarding LPA (Logistics Process Automation) offerings from Fero. The LPA offering spans bespoke computer vision and natural language processing solutions across air, sea and road.

To learn more about potential applications in your supply chain, get in touch with Fero at www.FERO.ai or call +971-4-3343344 for more information.