There were many technological innovations within the trucking sector, which promised significant gains for the industry. I’m talking about self-service portals, visibility solutions, CO2 emission calculators, etc. Sadly, neither of them has materialized. A few months ago, we were introduced to another innovation by Open AI. For those who do not know, the chat GPT technology leverages artificial intelligence and natural language algorithms to create intelligent chatbots that can understand and respond to human interactions in a personalized and relevant manner. As a result, this technology can soon take over many manual tasks from operations-related employees (transport managers, dispatchers, planners, etc.).
We thought it would be interesting to look into the future and talk about this technology’s usage options, answer whether employees in the trucking industry need to start worrying, and what skills to develop not to be left behind.
Here are Some Keyways in Which Chat GPT Can Possibly Revolutionize the Trucking Industry
You most likely have noticed the word “possibly” in the heading above because there are still many uncertainties about how this technology will evolve. Yes, It has attracted much attention, but we still do not know how society and politicians will react because this threatens modern society’s structure, which guarantees peace and prosperity. And, of course, we still do not know how fast this technology will evolve. Furthermore, at the time of writing, the model is based on written data input and visuals. Still, we also need visual reading and verbal communication abilities for seamless integration with other technologies.
Nevertheless, we have many unanswered questions, but if it works out, it could put trucking-related operations to a level we haven’t seen before. Below we will underly a few of the many potential adaptation ways to this technology.
Automated Dispatch, Routing, Driver support, and Safety
This is not a novelty, as this is already happening in the industry. But the natural language models can put this to a new level. For example, imagine if a bot could send routes and instructions by analyzing real-time data on traffic, weather, fuel consumption, and other factors, and most importantly, could answer drivers’ emails, SMS messages, and even calls in the future. And let’s not forget that AI would eliminate mistakes and misjudgments, as it operates without human-related heuristics.
Moreover, chatbots can support drivers by providing real-time assistance and guidance on routing, traffic conditions, and other issues that may arise during delivery. They can also provide safety, eco-driving tips, and reminders, reducing the risk of accidents, improving drivers’ safety, and reducing fuel consumption.
Suppose this technology is connected to all inside and outside tools. In that case, it can become a super operational mind and dream worker, as it can operate 24/7 and, most importantly, make the best possible decisions without any errors.
Enhancing Customer Service
Customer service within logistics can take out many hours of the day because many order fulfillment and other tasks must be done daily. AI can come to help as Chatbots can handle customer inquiries, order tracking, invoicing, and issue resolution in a quick and automated manner. In addition, they can provide real-time updates on shipment statuses, delivery times, and other logistics-related information, reducing the need for manual intervention and improving customer satisfaction. With AI, the industry could finally get all the benefits the customer service portal should have offered but still hasn’t.
Improving Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance and repairs are the most significant expenditure line of any logistics company. If done promptly, it can save a lot of funds. AI can provide real-time alerts and notifications on maintenance and repair requirements, enabling trucking companies to schedule repairs proactively and prevent breakdowns. This would help to reduce downtime, improve truck availability, and enhance overall operational performance.
Helping HR and other organizational departments with paperwork, Training, and Onboarding
Chatbots can be used as a tool to quickly draft documents such as reports, memos, and emails. In addition, it can generate text based on the input provided by the user, which can serve as a starting point for further refinement. This can help companies streamline their document creation process and save time.
Additionally, AI can train and onboard new employees by providing interactive and personalized training modules, answering questions, and providing guidance on standard operating procedures. This helps in reducing the learning curve and improving employee productivity.
To summarize the information above, Artificial intelligence can improve transportation companies’ operations in many ways. One of the key benefits and concerns related to this technology is that a transport company will need fewer operational personnel. If this article is read by someone related to trucking operations, most likely, a valid question pops into one’s mind, will I still have a job in the future? This technology will reduce the need for human resources, but we believe there will be a place for humans, although a shift in skills needs to happen.
At the initial phase, operations managers must become artificial intelligence trainers, so they will need to understand what kind of beast it is and have the skills to make prompts, adjustments on a data basis, etc. Soft skills (effective communication, leadership, Emotional intelligence, and others) will be crucial in the next stage. In other words, to thrive in the possibly new era, employees need to improve skills that make us humans and separate us from machines, as this is where future employees can create value. And nevertheless, it’s a common sense this will be a challenge, as many in the trucking industry have gotten used to technologies (TMS, route planners, messaging) and have become more like machines, spending less time for human-to-human interactions and more on messaging.
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About the Author:
Thomas Ananjevas is a supply chain professional with 15 years of experience purchasing and selling Logistic’s services and building a supply chain from scratch. He founded a consulting, training, and staffing company that works exclusively with the logistics industry. Thomas is helping logistics companies implement the necessary changes to ensure business growth and continuity. You can arrange a time to talk with Thomas by clicking here.