AI has the potential to transform industries through automation and optimization, and air cargo is an industry that will greatly benefit from it.
That silly internet trend…
“Internet may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it.”
It’s safe to say, this statement did not age well.
Let’s fast forward 20 years. We have now been introduced to the wonderful world of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI). So now the question is – will artificial intelligence fall into the category of ‘just another tech fad’ (looking at you Bitcoin), or will it become a business necessity?
Let’s take a look, and see what it means for AI in logistics and supply chain.
Printed by the Daily Mail on Tuesday December 5, 2000. (Source)
Bitcoin vs Artificial Intelligence
Bitcoin is a digital currency that aims to remove any control from a centralized authority, such as governments and banks. Invented in 2009, it uses blockchain technology to support transactions on a decentralized network.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines or software that helps humans automates processes, make predictions and optimize decision making.
Though they aren’t necessarily connected, they are related. Both, at some point, have taken the world by storm. The interesting part is how they differentiate.
Let’s take Dogecoin as an example. Similar to Bitcoin, Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2013, but took its inspiration from a popular meme and generated a cult-like following. In 2021, Dogecoin was gaining huge popularity in the cryptocurrency world. Backed by investor giants like Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and billionaire Mark Cuban, there seemed to be no stopping Dogecoin, reaching an all-time high on May 26, 2021 at 74 cents. Its association with memeculture helped it gain a large online following and a community of supporters.
However, since then, the price of the memecoin has only decreased, with its value just below 6 cents in August 2023. Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Dogecoin included, experience much more volatility compared to other assets. Without being a stable measure of value, there is no intention of replacing fiat currency (like the US Dollar) with digital currencies today.
Alternatively, at the end of 2022, ChatGPT entered the game and completely changed the way we think and work. The AI-powered tool led to an important transition – leveraging AI for creative tasks rather than operational tasks (think writing an article versus a self-driving car). Regarded as a global sensation, ChatGPT kicked off a new era of the AI boom.
Since then, AI has gained positive traction: transforming the traditional boundaries of jobs, creating automation and optimization in tasks, and generating a surge in AI investments among businesses.
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AI is here to stay
So how is AI here to stay, where as Bitcoin has failed?
“AI is disrupting the commodity of execution, not the ideation behind it. In other words, AI might be disrupting the execution of certain tasks, but that just makes the ideas and creativity behind those tasks all the more important.” Gary Vaynerchuck. (Source)
As Gary Vee puts it, AI isn’t reinventing the wheel, it is simply making it easier to spin. Not only easier, but better, faster and more accurate. AI provides more than just increased efficiency, it also provides insights, predictions and results based on real-time data and analytics. It is being leveraged as a tool, not a complete replacement.
For Dogecoin, like many other cryptocurrencies, it was trying to be used as a replacement for traditional currency. For AI, it is aimed at harnessing its capabilities to enhance productivity and work.
Check Yes: AI in Logistics
The need to digitalize the air cargo supply chain and logistics is definitely here.
Based on a recent survey conducted by WebCargo by Freightos, logistics professionals overwhelmingly (96%) expect to leverage AI – with 14% already using (7%) or piloting solutions (7%) for pricing or customer service automations.
In addition to the results above, there’s no surprise here: the survey showed that most are interested in applying AI to pricing (64%), followed closely by customer service (56%) and operations (51%).
With a positive perception of AI in logistics, WebCargo is placed perfectly as the industry opens up to digitalization. WebCargo leverages AI for freight rate management, providing real-time accurate pricing to secure the most cost-effective carrier for a faster, better experience.
Furthermore, as a pioneer in the development of AI in logistics, WebCargo recently released its Airline Dashboard in July, giving airlines a competitive edge with nearly real-time data generated by analyzing tens of thousands of monthly eBookings.
“Leveraging the digitalization underpinning air cargo eBookings and the data it makes available, the Airline Dashboard gives carriers visibility into their actual performance selling online, unlocking a level of real-time analytics not possible before, and allowing airlines to be better informed about their customers and make better decisions.” explained Sergio Puig Ortuño, Product Manager at WebCargo (Source)
Does AI end with ‘happily ever after’?
AI has placed itself as an important asset in the business world, with 77% of the world’s population using artificial intelligence in some capacity. From ChatGPT to your curated Instagram feed, AI is all around us – and it is here to stay.
As a result, it is reshaping how we work, communicate, live and conduct business. It spans across all areas of industries – from healthcare to education to advertising and even, you guessed it, to logistics. Moreover, 95% of logistic professionals think AI will impact logistics, and that it’s not just hype (sorry Dogecoin).
“It’s seemingly increasingly clear that there will be little that isn’t touched by AI. Bill Gates recently commented that AI is every bit as significant as the internet or the transistor and it’s difficult to imagine a supply chain organization without internet being able to compete with one that has it,” commented Freightos CMO Eytan Buchman. (Source)
Not a fad.
TLDR: So which is AI – a fad or business necessity? In short, we are placing our bets as a business necessity with the way the world is trending. It’s essential to remember that AI carries significant responsibility. When approached correctly, it’s clear that the air cargo industry is ready to enter the realm of digitalization.