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It’s time to ditch the history lesson, says CH Robinson

[ December 14, 2021   //   ]

Global supply chain company CH Robinson says that supply chains need to move from relying on ‘historical’ information to artificial intelligence and internet of things to manage fast-moving global trade.

Describing itself as “the world’s most connected logistics platform provider”, CH Robinson, says it currently works with more than 1,000 data scientists, engineers and developers and will further invest in technology to address some of the most complex logistics problems and minimise inefficiency.

Director of software engineering, Dave Fraas, explains:  “For too long, companies have relied on historical data to predict how they should operate. However, what happened just a year ago, or even a few months ago isn’t the same today. For example, existing historical models would not have predicted the explosion in e-commerce we’ve witnessed over the past couple of years. The pandemic called into question how much faith we should put in historical data, highlighted the urgent need for innovation in the supply chain and placed a greater reliance on the likes of AI and the Internet of Things to help predict the unpredictable.”

Fraas continues: “If we think about road transport, truck transport alone accounts for around 25% of global transport energy use and, in Europe, a quarter of containers are empty. CH Robinson moves the most full truckloads of freight in the world and using our industry-leading technology, we can effectively match supply and demand more closely – every empty mile we remove is incremental capacity we add in to the supply chain to help the flow of goods.

“Our commitment to invest such a staggering sum will put CH Robinson at the forefront of technological developments in the UK and on a global scale, too.”

At its Tech Centre in Warsaw, CH Robinson develops automated processes aimed at streamlining the process between the customer and carrier matching customers’ volume demands and pricing requirements with carriers’ capabilities, providing both parties with greater visibility and flexibility.

It has also launched a new technology centre in Cork to further deliver customised solutions for shippers and carriers. The company plans to recruit a significant number of technology professionals in the next three years to bring those efforts to life.

CH Robinson also has an alliance which combines its Navisphere platform with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Internet of Things, supporting the need for enhanced real-time insights and visibility, incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence to support predictive analytics, IoT device monitoring for greater intelligence on products whilst in transit, premier data security and increased application speed.

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