How Has AI Automated Freight Procurement To Make Shippers Agile?

No doubt, digitalization is the future of supply chains across the world. It’s no secret that transportation and logistics are slow to advance, and mired in manual processes. And the pandemic certainly put a glowing spotlight on the need to revisit digital transformation within the supply chain. A recent survey by Bain & Company with the World Economic Forum stated that supply chain resilience and sustainability have become priorities for many large businesses. To proactively manage future supply chain disruption, shippers need to be agile and resilient. In other words, they need to be capable of pivoting– to follow what the market demands– on a second’s notice.

Do you remember Sears, or what about Blockbuster Video? Both brands failed to adapt to market changes, and either missed or were slow to embrace innovative thinking. It’s unfortunate to think there are many large shippers who are still using archaic procedures within their supply chain. This is precisely why many shippers have struggled over the last 24 months to deliver goods on time, and at fair market price. Static, linear freight procurement procedures were never set up to effectively manage freight market fluctuation. The physical movement of goods is riddled with unknowns, such as natural disasters or shifts in consumer demand, and therefore requires smart tools to support resilience.

AI-powered technology has helped many shippers turn static freight procurement processes into dynamic ones. Once the software is configured with the shipper’s unique load attributes and rules, the software goes to work by dynamically sourcing compliant, asset-based capacity whenever and wherever the shipper needs it. With no middlemen, carriers bid directly on loads, so shippers know which carriers are engaged and what the carrier (not a broker middleman) wants to get paid to understand the true market cost.

Plus, AI/ML provides a gateway to more truckload data. With 100% data and pricing transparency, shippers are finally empowered to make smarter, data-driven decisions when it comes to optimizing their carrier network. They finally get a complete 360-degree view of truckload activity to know which carriers to keep, replace or add.

Shippers who choose not to embrace technological advancements may soon find themselves like Sears and Blockbuster; unable to keep up with tomorrow’s challenges and therefore fall fast behind their competition.