Digital leaps in areas like AI and autonomous technology are fundamentally changing the way goods and people move around the world. Startups are the lynchpin of this transformation, pinpointing areas of need that can be tackled by cutting-edge digital solutions, including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software. That's ultimately forcing incumbents to evolve or see their core businesses erode. Monitoring these startups thus offers unique insight into the development of the transportation and logistics industries at large, and how incumbents are defending their turf.

In a series of five notes, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the top startups disrupting transportation and logistics. In the first note, we discussed the leading startups in digital freight and offered an assessment of their value and impact to the sector. In the second note, we examined the startups spearheading the rise of warehouse robotics. In this third note, we explore the leading startups offering AI software to enhance the routing of shipments and speed up delivery times. The fourth note will dive into the robotics startups automating last-mile delivery, and the final note will analyze the startups developing autonomous driving software and how they’re challenging big automotive and tech companies in the race to put a self-driving car on the road.

AI In The Supply Chain: Cutting Costs By Optimizing Deliveries, Inventory Management, And Fleet Utilization

AI is an umbrella term used to describe technologies that can simulate human intelligence. Business Insider Intelligence is limiting the scope of this note to AI applications within supply chain management software, which we define as any AI-based software algorithms that help optimize the shipments of goods in transit. This includes delivery route optimization, predictive order and return volume algorithms, asset utilization tools, and inventory management tools. Specifically, we will discuss machine learning (ML) as it is applied within the supply chain management space. ML, which finds patterns in data and gets better at doing so over time, is the most commonly referenced technology by shipping companies that discuss AI.

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