Ecommerce fulfillment software firm Flowspace is using generative AI and machine learning technology to streamline transportation and freight management processes, automate workflows and increase the visibility into the status of inbound and outbound shipments.
Using optical character recognition (OCR), FlowspaceAI for Freight first reads emails shared among shippers, freight brokers and carriers, including bill of lading data. It then layers in generative AI and machine learning to determine the status of each shipment. Booking date confirmations are automatically added to orders, and appropriate documentation is generated and attached.
John Tokash, vice president of engineering for Flowspace, said the large language model (LLM) is very vigilant in reading and correctly interpreting the data.
“Someone can look at each email afresh with all the context from the database,” Tokash said. “They can see what is happening with this inbound order, or that one is going to be late. It bridges the gap between information pulled from documents in different systems for instance freight brokers and shippers, and makes it available to the large language model to make a determination.”
For instance, Tokash said, a freight broker uses its own system to manage what carriers and drivers will be handling a particular shipment. “They’re communicating over email to a shipper and a warehouse manager,” he said. “Now disconnected systems are made more interoperable, resulting in higher visibility.”
Tokash said the solution acts in a similar way to generative AI used to create marketing content based on queries and prompts. It summarizes emails, then provides the information in a more machine-readable format so a system can process it.
“This frees up employees from having to look at every email, so they can concentrate on just those requiring immediate attention, like getting on the phone to handle an emergency,” he said.
A separate AI-based network optimization tool from Flowspace can recommend changes to a fulfillment footprint, or examine a retailer’s data to uncover patterns and trends in order to improve fulfillment operations or inform marketing, advertising or sales strategies.