Top 3 Benefits of a Shipping Consultant in the Age of AI
Published on Jul 6, 2023
AI is transforming every industry at a blistering pace, including the supply chain, transportation and logistics industry — and businesses that bury their head in the sand to cling to a dying business model will soon go out of business.
But is it possible to swing the pendulum too far, too fast toward AI at the expense of the deep expertise and human touch of a business consultant?
While some industry players are going all in on AI for services like parcel mediation, scaling back their workforce and leaving their customers with a DIY model, the most helpful approach for today’s shipper is to partner with a provider that combines the power of AI and human know-how. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. A Complex Industry Demands Nuanced Expertise
The shipping industry is notoriously complex, which the public was certainly exposed to during and since the pandemic. The complexities multiply in modes like parcel with variables like parcel weight, size, origin and destination zones, delivery speed, inventory management, labeling and hidden accessorial fees.
While data science can provide valuable insights, it cannot replace the nuanced expertise and practical knowledge of a parcel shipping consultant, who is well-versed in navigating the intricacies of the industry and can offer tailored solutions that address each business’s unique challenges.
The power comes when big data can be interpreted and applied by a knowledgeable expert, who can connect any solution to emerging trends, while providing invaluable human support at every step of the process.
2. Data is Only as Useful as the Way It's Leveraged
“Data-driven” is almost cliché at this point. It’s certainly table stakes for today’s shippers to make decisions informed by data. Most shippers are already leveraging data and analytics to try and optimize their operations. But data on its own is just an input. What you do with it is another story. And that’s assuming the data you have is clean and usable, a big assumption of its own.
Data may be able to raise a red flag within a parcel contract, but a consultant can then help you negotiate a more favorable contract.
Data can help benchmark your operations against similar shippers, but a consultant can make sure every recommendation is personalized to the things that make your operation truly unique.
Data can provide historical pricing trends from your invoices, but a consultant can pinpoint hidden fees and connect the dots with any upcoming carrier changes.
Data can alert you to an issue. A consultant can help you find the best way to resolve it.
3. Cost Savings Should Be Part of a More Holistic Solution
Cost savings are an obvious benefit that you could and should realize with any solution, whether DIY AI-only, consultant-only or a combination of the two, but only the combination of human intelligence and artificial intelligence can get you a truly intelligent outcome, along with often underappreciated benefits like risk management, sustainability, regulatory compliance and customer service to help you optimize processes and enhance your overall performance.
Consultants offer holistic guidance and a true partnership that evolves with you and that goes beyond mere data analysis. While AI may be all the rage, you don’t have to sacrifice the human touch to achieve better business outcomes. Partner with a team that can do the heavy lifting for you, as enhanced by technology, giving you the best of both worlds.
Get the Best Human + AI Solution With a Redwood Parcel Shipping Consultant
Redwood’s Parcel team has performed more than 500 successful parcel mediations, with an average 12% savings within the first year, 30% reduction in accessorials and 5% monthly savings on mode optimization. Plus, we do 95% of the work, from initial analysis and our proven parcel RFQ process to on-demand reporting and ongoing optimization, with the human touch and transparency every step of the way.