Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, including shipping and logistics, and the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in data-driven shipping reach far beyond ensuring accurate delivery times in 2020’s booming ecommerce market. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows an estimated increase of approximately 44.5 percent in ecommerce markets for Q2 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. Can AI condition your small parcel shipping, a common shipping mode in electronic commerce, to keep up with skyrocketing demand? We think it can.
The uptick in volume is not going unnoticed by small parcel carriers. USPS recently proposed a temporary price increase on all commercial domestic competitive package volume for fall of 2020 through the holiday season. As postage rates increase, it is vital that e-tailers and large shippers adapt to keep profits favorable. Even the smallest packages in your supply chain can require significant shipping costs (especially if reverse logistics cuts into an item’s cost of goods), but leveraging AI in shipping can effectively decrease your chances of overpaying while optimizing transit times.
Customers, both new and loyal, expect clear and accurate communication, with in-transit communication during last-mile delivery becoming industry standard. Although operations resume for businesses worldwide, companies still warn consumers of delivery delays due to Coronavirus impact, particularly in affected areas and countries. Amazon’s Customer Service confirms, “Yes, Amazon's activities are currently continuing. However, delivery times may be longer than usual and our selection of items available for international shipping may be temporarily reduced.” It’s become a business best practice to review your carrier mix and profile feeding your data to AI to track past performance and predict future needs. AI enables decisions regarding exceptions and delays to be automated, optimizing the delivery process and keeping the customer updated along the way.
Using a scalable transportation management system for your business needs gives you an ecosystem for ecommerce growth to support quick onboarding of new business. “SwanLeap’s cloud architectured transportation management provides end-users with tremendous advantages when it comes to scale and flexibility,” notes SwanLeap CTO, Jason Swanson. “There’s really no such thing as ‘too much’ in terms of system events like tracking updates, transactions or label creation. Our system is built to easily integrate with any additional platform. While we can connect with legacy systems, SwanLeap is built using powerful REST APIs to leverage the latest technology available.” The ability to integrate with ecommerce and point-of-sale platforms will deliver the flexibility to grow quickly and advance your small parcel delivery. In a rapidly growing market filled with rising consumer expectations, your transportation management software can make or break your ability to meet those expectations.