China’s freight transportation industry is undergoing a radical transformation fuelled by artificial intelligence and big data, according to a keynote speech delivered by Dandan Shan, CEO of ForU Trucking, at RISE 2019 in Hong Kong.
Shan who founded China’s leading truckload service provider in 2015 shared her insights during the FullSTK and binate.io tracks, which examine how coding and data analysis are influencing modern businesses and society. During her keynote, Shan highlighted how technology had enabled the optimization of revenue and customer service in one of Asia’s fastest-growing industries.
Following the demand for freight transportation as a result of the eCommerce explosion in China, market share of the truckload services are worth over CNY 1.92 trillion. Truckload services currently represent almost two-thirds of China’smammoth freight transportation market and this figure is predicted to reach CNY 2.42 trillion by 2020. Despite its rapid expansion, the industry is hugely fragmented with more than 20 million trucks on the road—70% of which are operated by individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to Shan, there are three pain points plaguing today’s industry: a lack of standardized pricing, inefficient dispatching and unreliable service quality. To address these, ForU Trucking developed its world-leading online truck logistics platform, which uses intelligent pricing, intelligent service and intelligent dispatch to handle fuel efficiency and customer experience.
Historically, the freight transportation industry has suffered from variable pricing and frequent cost fluctuations as a result of seasonal changes in supply and demand. In traditional operating models, it requires an average of ten calls and one hour to obtain and negotiate a quotation in China. To streamline and optimize pricing, ForU Trucking’s platform uses an algorithm that harnesses information collected from big data (such as truck capacity, distance, historical pricing, seasonality and existing demand versus supply, etc.) to provide an accurate and standardized quotation in under two minutes.
In addition, traditional dispatch modes are often inefficient, amounting to high operational costs and low-profit margins. Powered by artificial intelligence, ForU Trucking’s intelligent dispatch system optimizes routes for drivers, increasing a truck’s monthly operating mileage from 6,520 km to over 11,000, and reduced the transportation cost per load by 20%. These savings have also directly benefited drivers with a 12.5% increase in monthly revenue.
Finally, the platform’s real-time system monitoring delivers consistent service standards for enhanced customer experience. Freight transportation is often subject to significant service issues, including traffic delays, a lack of transparent tracking and damaged goods due to unpredictable road conditions. ForU Trucking harnesses real-time location-based services, big data and GIS, and predictions calculated by AI to automatically detect and report any abnormalities that occur throughout the transportation process. These systems reduce the number of calls received by customer service teams and allow for greater operational efficiency, resulting in a tenfold increase in the number of orders processed per day per person.