Today’s business is very dynamic and quick. There is no room for mistakes or delays. But how to accomplish goals and tasks in supply chain management and transport coordination with additional factors that can influence planning? With help in daily operations come Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. How is AI used in Girteka, the largest asset-based logistic company in Europe, and what does it mean exactly?
Planning transport and delivery needs a lot of focus and verified data. As every minute counts, it is crucial to transport cargo on the best possible route, where all performance indicators are aligned with customers’ needs.
Today’s transport manager’s job is a tough one. It involves not only planning the dates of cargo loading and unloading but also planning the whole route, including regulations and restrictions regarding heavy truck delivery. With the usage of an interactive map, the transport manager still needs to find a proper place for resting, a safe parking space and to secure all payments on the road, including petrol stations, tolls, ferries etc. So, experience and knowledge but also information are crucial here to deliver on customers’ promises.
Yet the risk of mistakes is high, as sometimes we are missing data, and some of the information might be outdated, which can cause errors in the first phase of planning.
Solutions from video games
It might be funny, but solutions used in video games can inspire some business cases. Like many real-time strategies that include planning or transportation within logistics companies, you can imagine a transport manager’s tasks as another option to develop in the game, but with a little bit more complicated requirement.
“The goal of any AI solution is clear – simplify, reduce mistakes, fasten results, increase the efficiency of the process itself, and learn from it. The clue is whether the process that people normally control can be defined as an algorithm with the possibility to develop itself based on gathered data. In Girteka, with support from external companies like Nexogen, we can build those processes and simulate them,” explains Dainius Augutis, Head of Transport Function Support Division at Girteka.
AI solutions are based on data and are learning through data analysis. Girteka, the largest asset-based logistic company, is collecting data from its more than 9,000 trucks, delivering products daily. That information with additional variables, like road standards, safe and secure parking places, and petrol stations, are basic input for the AI Operator. This tool defines the best possible route for cargo delivery, including requirements from customers and needed setups.
Thanks to the AI Operator, planning transport can include such requirements as estimated arrival time, distance or emissions and optimise the route based on those indicators. The system is updated every hour, so if there are changes in route due to circumstances on the road, the program recalculates all data again and proposes the best optimal solution.
All information about where to go, which way, and where to rest or refuel is delivered to the driver through the Transics hardware. That information secures the driver from getting lost and provides him with all needed information previously defined and agreed upon during communication between the driver and the transport manager. With the help of this solution the driver, following clear instructions and guidelines, can focus on delivering cargo safely and on time.
“With more than 880,000 FTLs per year, it is sometimes impossible to plan that manually. But thanks to the AI Operator, we are not only planning transportation but also optimising it in terms of the estimated arrival time, route, length, or emissions. That is a huge advantage in terms of quick and flawless planning and customer response time. What can be added is that our drivers are now getting an easier way to access all the needed information to deliver cargo,” explains Augutis.
Benefits for all
With AI and RTV solutions, customers and transport managers, as well as customer care, have clear, available on-demand information, not only about cargo and its circumstances but also about the route, ETA, estimated emissions, and distance.
In practice, thanks to AI solutions, planning a simple route manually and with the program, we are not only saving time and reducing mistakes. We can also set up individual requirements from a customer in terms of time, distance, and emissions. For companies that treat sustainability very seriously, it is valuable information. One of the recent examples shows that following route defined by AI Operator allowed to reduce time of transport by 10%, as well as fuel consumption and emissions by approximately 7%. , Also, in terms of driving hours, all local requirements are easily included in planning the route.
This is just the first step on the path to fully digitalised logistics services, but with help from software tools, it is possible to speed up the optimization of supply chains and achieve sustainable results. At Girteka, the AI tools work closely with other systems, like RPA or RTV, within the latest and most advanced trucks and their equipment.