Matching shippers and carriers via AI-enabled platform

Vehicle routing and scheduling have always remained a critical task for both carriers and shippers. It is their absolute ideal for determining the optimal delivery scheme to save time and money. Such a concern has urged corporations to figure out the best solution. With GEM’s assistance, the APAC region has witnessed and experienced an innovative, technology-enabled digital logistic channel that keeps the goods moving to their destination.

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Background

The client is among the leading global transportation and logistics providers with more than 80,000 employees in over 100 countries. The company is known for its long history of freight forwarding activities and overland businesses. Recently, it has set its footprint in the digital marketplace with a self-service platform that can process instant quotations and competitive rates for overland shipments. The proprietary differentiation of this platform is the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match shipper’s requirements with carrier availability. And this initiative is expected to be realized in Thailand, followed by other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Challenge

The benefit that this solution was prone to offer was connecting shippers with the carriers of their choice. In other words, the owners of commodities shipped could book logistics vendors at each port of transshipment according to their specific requirements, creating a customized route that was optimal in terms of time and cost. With that said, this web-based platform would serve as a matching tool for the two parties and allow one shipper to employ services of more than one provider. It was also required to process a massive amount of data while maintaining a responsive and stable performance to ensure a smooth user experience. 

However, each carrier had its own way of collecting and storing data, leading to a disorganized and patternless database. This made the system difficult to manage and the application of AI impossible to take effect. Other problems followed, namely the booking and tracking systems that allowed customers to monitor the package’s delivery and contract payment.

Solution

After defining the requirements and challenges, GEM’s scrum teams worked with the integration team in Germany to carry out the project. The team employed multi-tenant architecture to facilitate multiple users on the same code base. Thus, the software application can share a dedicated instance of configurations, data management, and other properties. White labeling procedures also took place so that the platform can use services from various providers across geo-locations to create offers under its name. This could save approved carriers time, energy, and money regarding infrastructure and marketing costs. 

In terms of data processing, the execution team had collected the database of all logistics companies joining the platform to analyze and produce a better and uniform one. The standardized and patterned inputs enabled seamless queries of shipment details. Then, the AI-powered engine stepped in to streamline and automate the quotation comparison process to present the most competitive options that fit individual needs. The whole process was run on the operating system of ensuring high availability, real-time visibility, and responsiveness.

Impacts

The platform was successfully developed and functioned as efficiently as expected. The company had taken a step further in its digital transformation journey, becoming the first logistics provider in the APAC region to apply AI technology into a digital freight platform. The tech-led solution had bridged the supply and demand of overland logistics, provided approved carriers with the opportunity to profit from idle fleets, and offered local and regional shippers the most competitive freight services.